Letters to the Editor

Republicanism has been badly damaged by ruthless murder

It is a bad time for republicanism with the killing of Lyra McKee, a young woman with everything to live for. It has shattered any residual credibility republicanism may have, by knock-on effect, to snuff out a young child’s life in god’s eyes for whatever reason or no reason. The Good Friday/Belfast Agreement means very little in context when someone can be blown out as easy as a candle in the wind. Is there any right or wrong in some people’s minds? The simple answer – no there isn’t. These are the hallmarks of a highly indifferent culture which disappoints and challenges our faith in humanity to the highest level. We hear of dissident republicanism being to blame. The killing of this young woman is surely not what republicanism is all about. Dissident republicanism is not republicanism. And republicans who are not into violence or who do not define themselves by it always need to make that absolutely clear. Republicanism has been very badly damaged by this ruthless murder overall and it should be no surprise if the knock-on effects are not felt at election time. It is a despicable, chilling murder and there is absolutely no reason or any sick justification for it that anyone knows of. Murder is a personal act when someone pulls a trigger. It should not be coloured and watered down or re-contextualised by giving it a political tone. How has this brutal killing got anything to do with the republican struggle? How is it going to serve anyone’s cause?
It would seem more appropriate to call the island of Ireland the Wild West. The criminality going on in this country, north and south, is profound. The island should be looked at as a whole when judging criminality.
The Republic is just as bad for murder and other sordid crime as Northern Ireland and let there be no dispute on that.
The Republic is a shop of horrors too where laws are too soft for hard criminals. It is a bandit country of lawlessness, recklessness, and senselessness. Gun murders, drugs and addiction, ATM thefts, stabbings, shootings, intimidation, hate crimes, the list goes on forever in an dark Ireland where many evil people exist and crime festers. Recent spates of ATM thefts are unprecedented anywhere in the world. Bold, brazen and uncaring.
What are some people becoming? Have they any morals or scruples? Why was Lyra’s life taken when she did not know the face of her killer? What did she do? Nothing. How could she have driven someone to fire at her and terminate her life? What makes her different than anybody else walking down the street? Why, why, why? We must ask why in
God’s name?  

MAURICE FITZGERALD
Shanbally, Co Cork

 

When politics fails vacuum is filled by terrorists

In a callous and reckless act of indiscriminate violence, the ‘New IRA’ murdered Lyra McKee in Derry. Their victim was a highly respected and courageous investigative journalist whose untimely death is a huge personal loss to her family and friends and journalistic colleagues.

Her murder was correctly condemned by all political leaders including the current leader of Sinn Féin and her immediate predecessor, Gerry Adams.

Exactly 28 years ago this month and also in Derry another young woman of the same age was also murdered. Her name was Joanne Mathers. She was a Protestant and a mother of a one-year old child. She was a census enumerator and was deliberately murdered by the IRA because they were opposed to the census taking place in the middle of the 1981 Hunger Strike. In January 2017 her husband, Lowry, said he could never forgive Martin McGuinness, given his role in Sinn Féin and the IRA, for “destroying his family”.
In response to Mr Mathers at the time, Martin McGuinness said: “Dealing with the legacy of the past remains one of the key outstanding challenges of our peace process”.

In keeping with this sentiment, wouldn’t it be appropriate for Mr Adams and Mary Lou McDonald to also condemn the unjustified and unjustifiable murder of Joanne Mathers 28 years ago.

Furthermore, the best way of ensuring there are no more victims like Lyra McKee and Joanne Mathers is for Sinn Féin and DUP to achieve political agreement and the restoration of Power Sharing and the primacy of politics over violence. When politics fail, the vacuum is filled by terrorists.

JOHN CUSHNAHAN
Former Fine Gael MEP and Leader of the Alliance Party

 

Remarkable achievement

In killing Lyra McKee the ‘new’ IRA has united all shades of opinion in opposition to its actions and against the statement of Saoradh which excused the shooting as ‘accidental’. 
At a rally on Fanad Drive, Creggan the leaders of Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Alliance Party attended, as did Arlene Foster on behalf of the DUP. Foster received a round of applause from the crowd which was mainly made up of local people from the Creggan– which for a long time was considered one of the most republican areas of Northern Ireland.  

Lest we forget, the DUP is a party which opposed the Good Friday Agreement, has blocked the operation of many of the Strand Two and Strand Three institutions of the agreement, has shown no enthusiasm for power sharing or the notion of parity of esteem, has opposed same-sex marriage, and is implacably opposed to any expression of Irish identity in the region – not least the demand for an Irish language act.  

The fact that the actions of the ‘new’ IRA has led to a situation where the leader of the DUP was applauded on the streets of the Creggan is really a remarkable achievement.

TOMÁS MAOILSEACHLAINN
Lettermacaward, Co Donegal

 

SF’s double standards

While the murder of Lyra McKee should be condemned by all right thinking people I cannot help but reflect on the events which followed her tragic death.

If a member of the PSNI had been killed would there have been the same outpouring of grief from the media, and would there have been vigils in the Creggan and elsewhere?

I also observed the willingness of Sinn Féin to condemn this act by the ‘new’ IRA, and the remarks of Mary Lou McDonald that, “There is no justification for armed actions,” and that no cause was “progressed by armed actions”.

How Mary Lou can say these things without also condemning the antecedents of the Real IRA is nothing short of double standards.

BRIAN KENNAWAY (Rev)
South Antrim

 

Deferential Ireland

When is Ireland, an independent and proud nation, going to stop the poor me act and jettison this gee shucks brigade, we are coming to your aid, we will stand by you and not let the bogey man get you. Is deference the price to be paid so that the taoiseach can be photographed posturing with grandiloquent speakers like Barnier and Tusk using Ireland as in Brexit, to have a side swipe at the UK, or with Mrs Pelosi and her Democratic agenda hoping to nail down the Irish vote in the next US presidential election. Names like Tara and Mullaghmast  would appear not to resonate with the present leaders. Oh for a Grattan who touched with fire the lips and heart of Ireland.

WILSON BURGESS
Derry City

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