Letters to the Editor

Chief Constable tries DUPing Glenanne victims' families

Fifty Glenanne victims’ families, with ‘Justice for the Forgotten’ and the Pat Finucane Centre, appealed (December 8) to constabulary chief George Hamilton. They asked him to aid their  inquiry into crown collusion in the Glenanne Gang murders and stop stonewalling grieving families with frivolous delays. Mr Hamilton wants to make these families wait for the sort of watered-down inquiry that the DUP will agree.

He followed the script used by James Brokenshire and British officialdom to block progress towards nationalist rights, much less national reunification – blame divisions and claim nationalist rights require a DUP permission slip. Crown officials think they can DUPe nationalists.

Mr Hamilton addressed his reply (December 15) to “elected representatives with responsibility for policing”, implying it was their problem not his.

Two years ago, gifted a major platform at the West Belfast Festival, Mr Hamilton boasted: “I’m not going to be fettered by secretaries of state, prime ministers or anyone else.” Now he blames being fettered by politicians, judges, courts, budgets, too few detectives, political vacuums, lack of structures, legal challenges and the inability of political leaders to reach agreement.

The implications of Glenanne Gang collusion are stark. This criminal gang tallied more than 120 murders, like the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, Miami Showband etc. It included members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Ulster Defence Regiment and paid agents, all supporting British rule. Any genuine police service would want to uncover the full scope of the British collusion network needed to commit and get away with so many murders. European law and Belfast judges say these families have a right to know. Mr Hamilton, like Mr Brokenshire, pretends such rights can be ignored without DUP agreement.

What can the Glenanne families expect from a DUP-agreed inquiry? While vetoing inquest funds Arlene Foster said “a lot of innocent victims feel that their voice has not been heard recently and there has been an imbalance in relation to state killings as opposed to paramilitary killings”.

Would she agree to any inquiry that might uncover British state forces’ complicity in 120 loyalist killings? Does Ms Foster think Glenanne victims innocent or feel since supporters of British rule targeted them, they must be guilty of something? 

No matter the issue, British officials think they can blame divisions and play their sham DUP veto to trample nationalist rights.

Can we prove them wrong? 

MARTIN GALVIN
New York

 

Sinn Féin creating dangerous ‘official Irishness’

There’s something tragic, if not dangerous, going on in Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin has almost entirely seized Irishness, Irish culture, Irish identity and what it is to be Irish. 

It wasn’t always so. 

A century ago those who opposed Home Rule were simply Irishmen and women who wanted to remain in union with the Scots, English and Welsh. It wasn’t that much different from Scotland today – SNP or Labour or Conservative, while divided politically they’re all Scottish. Edward Carson said it about Tom Kettle, a Home Rule nationalist in 1914:

“We’re both Irishmen, and that is what matters.”

The goal of ISIS is to sow fear, suspicion and division. We oppose that.  

The result, if not the goal, of Provisional IRA was to sow a generational hatred and division. They divided the Gael and the planter. For many northern Protestants the PIRA made Irishness anathema to them. 

Academic research backs this up. Richard Rose’s 1968 Northern Ireland Loyalty Survey, found that ‘Protestant self description as Irish dropped sharply after 1968... Protestants tended to define their identity much more strongly as British after 1968’.

The Provisional IRA and Provisional Sinn Féin poisoned Irishness for Protestants during the Troubles. 

Today Provisional Sinn Féin is working to complete the job by utterly seizing and smothering itself in what it is to be Irish. They seem to rejoice in unionism’s exaggerated Britishness and aversion to Irishness as a way to isolate the unwanted minority.  

In this age of diversity Sinn Féin is creating an alarmingly singular way to be ‘Irish’ in Northern Ireland. 

Today in Northern Ireland we need to wrestle Irishness back from Sinn Féin and the blood and soil republicans. 

BRIAN JOHN SPENCER
Belfast BT9

 

Prophetic words of The Liberator still apply

Sinn Féin, is not now and never were, custodians of peace, or of a peace process. Its leadership’s justification of PIRA’s murderous campaign, is proof of that.

Neither can Sinn Féin be guarantors of future peace. Their goal remains a 32 county socialist republic. It has presently given up on ‘physical force’ as the means of achieving it, concentrating on the ballot box, instead of the Armalite. This requires more and more votes in the ballot box. So watch out for the continued, intensive, expensive, sectarian and never-ending election campaigning. About 200 years ago, The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, prophetically said of physical force republicanism: “She has no head and cannot think; no heart, and cannot feel. When she moves, it is wrath; when she pauses, it is amid ruin; her prayers are curses – her God is a demon – her communion is death – her vengeance is eternity – her Decalogue written in blood of her victims; and if she stops for a moment in her infernal flight, it is upon a kindred rock, to whet her vulture fang for a more sanguinary desolation.”

So what Newton Emerson and Alex Kane brilliantly write weekly, in 700 word columns, confirms and reaffirms what The Liberator said in 70.

BRIAN ROONEY
Downpatrick, Co Down

 

Irish citizens are merely taxable units

The new year begins with the political guff and disturbing revelations still ringing in our ears from 2017.

At Christmas time we heard Leo Varadkar saying it is vital we latch onto another silly ‘security’ EU organisation which makes a nonsense of our neutrality laws, citing the dangers ‘we’ face from cyber terrorism and the possibility of elections being ‘influenced’ by a foreign power on the internet.

That’s fine then. Leo has guaranteed Russia will not be keeping an eye on Ireland (especially Skibbereen).

During the year we were also reminded that those who, in good faith, joined Sinn Féin were, when in democratic office, bullied and some claimed threatened, not to hold with opinions of their own which departed from the SF diktat.

Many in this country could have told new recruits that the Sinn Féin leopard will not change its spots, as many of like mind, going back decades, were warned on escaping the clutches of the Shinners.

Good to see that there are those who have now found courage in this regard.

Then we have Fianna Fáil, who as the main opposition in the Dáil, it’s as if they have not even been there for five years, while being government main cheer-leaders on matters where action was needed from their side of the house, instead.
FF seem more interested with bringing in from the cold the old guard who had hand, act and part of ruining us all economically. Even the family names of those we thought were gone from the stage forever, are being ‘vetted’ as potential candidates for a general election. 

Of course, the Labour Party, or what exists of it, are again making noises that they alone are the defenders of the poor and have nots, whom they ignore when in coalition government themselves.

It is no oversight that I did not mention where Irish citizens stand in the plans of the political parties, because in the life of quasi national governments and EU demands and decrees, we simply do not matter. We are merely taxable units.

ROBERT SULLIVAN
Bantry, Co Cork

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