Letters to the Editor

Concerns over BBC's refusal to use word Derry on weather map

Today, this week, next week, these are good times to ask political questions of political representatives who are paid for coming up with answers to matters which we find relevant to our lives.

The question I have been repeatedly asking concerns the policy of the BBC who refuse to use the word ‘Derry’ on the Newsline weather map, broadcast by the BBC daily throughout the year.

Belfast, Cork, Galway, Dublin will all appear on this map but ‘Derry’ is not allowed on the map.

Should the BBC or others point us to the Plantation of Ulster and the Royal Charter which renamed the city as justification for this policy then this approach is a nonsense.

This city was founded circa 1,400 years ago, long before any Plantation or supposed Charter. It was named Doire Colmcille.

The people of the north west have suffered untold amounts of sectarian hatred at the hands of people who stole their land and property, carried out pogroms against them and vilified them for daring to fight back.

Is it too much to ask for the name of one’s own city to appear on a weather map above its geographical location.

Contemporary broadcasting on life in Derry certainly does not portray this city in a positive light. This city has been done down, castigated and rubbished for centuries. Many people in power do not like the fact that it was here in this city that the sectarian boil burst, beginning the Troubles.

The BBC has the gall to ask the nationalist people in Derry to pay for their policies regarding news and weather broadcasts, policies so easily fixed as regards the concepts of parity and equality.

Let’s see now if any of our politicians have the ability to stand up for their citizens and get Derry put back on the weather map and restore some measure of pride that Derry people have in their city.

Derry City


Mystery should not be the issue but obedience to Yeshua’s instructions

TJ Hardy in his letter (September 10) writes on the ‘mystery’ and ‘real presence’ of the Eucharist, saying the issue can overwhelm the mind. He states that the Eastern and Western Churches have different ways of celebrating the Lord’s death. That would be the Orthodox and Catholic Churches respectively. However, the Celtic Church in Ireland and the early Jewish Church in Judea also differed from these later practices, so who is right?

The Apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, founded churches in Asia Minor that remembered the Lord’s death annually on the actual Biblical date of Passover, Nisan 14. They are termed by historians as ‘Quartodeciman,’ (quarto = 4 and dec = 10), the men who keep the 14th (of Nisan). This was kept from the time of the Last (Passover) Supper up until the change from Passover to Easter by the Roman Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325. It was also kept by St Patrick and the Celtic saints who ignored the new Roman edicts, including the change from Sabbath to Sunday.

The New Testament instructed to remember the Lord’s death “as often as ye do this,” i.e. annually each Passover, not to “do this as often as you like,” which is basically what happens in most institutionalised churches today.
Scripture emphasises “Christ is our Passover,” not our ‘Easter, named after the goddess Ishtar.
What an insult.

It is not so much about mystery that should be the issue but of obedience to Yeshua’s (Jesus’) instructions.

Bangor, Co Down


Unblinkered by ‘blind belief’

Professor Bill Tormey – “Archbishop’s assertions wrong” (September 13) – slaps down the Archbishop of Armagh and like the Incredible Hulk bursting the shackles of “educational sectarian control” he brings his “critical faculties” to bear and eschewing all “blind belief”, he enlightens us with his novel vision of the “backdrop of religious faith” to “war all over the world” and its “horrendous consequences”.

He leaves us gulping and gasping and asking how on earth we missed it – 150 million deaths in atheistic Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia etc and 100
million in two world wars – and really all due to religious faith?
And are we also to suppose that 50 million abortion deaths annually are all down to the vicious sacrificial rites of some religious creed. Perhaps another example of the ‘blind belief’ he abhors.

I can only imagine that the thought that Stalin, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh , Chiang Kai shek, Kim II Sung, might have been Eucharistic Ministers and that Pol Pot , Mussolini, Tojo, Suharto, Tito could have been fervent altar boys has somehow escaped his attention.

Unblinkered by “blind belief” he leaps blindly into a dystopian horror to assure us that those young people north and south (if they are allowed to be born) can look forward to the legalised destruction and disposal of thousands of their unborn peers – all against the backdrop of – ‘No God here’.

Belfast BT9


Fairy stories didn’t quite hit mark

Within hours of the September 11 attacks the world was told Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks – masterminded from his cave within the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan. The northern Irish know only too well that the details of the Bloody Sunday massacre took 38 years to come out. Either the investigative process has moved on in bounds over the years or else the Pentagon fiction-factory thought it can get away with anything as long as it was promoted Goebbels-style from every television screen and mainstream newspaper. Some of the fairy stories didn’t quite hit the mark though as in a supposed link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 – an allegation that even Tony Blair distanced himself from. From the reverse perspective, any linkage between the Pentagon and al-Qaeda, for example, or between the CIA and the promotion of terrorism is labelled “conspiracy theory” and we’re meant to just go away and live happily ever after in it-never-happened land.

Hillsborough, Co Down

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