Letters to the Editor

Sinn Féin doesn't have maturity to improve politics in Ireland

Sinn Féin continue to espouse the old apologetic stance on misdeeds of their party. The recent Barry McElduff controversy is a case in point where Sinn Féin feel they have apologised for it and that should be the end of it as far as they are concerned, notwithstanding his resignation. They feel they should be the ones to call time on their public ridicule for party member misconduct with an apology absolving them from it. Sinn Féin want us to believe that the DUP are to blame for the suspension of Stormont, but how can we believe this with the conduct of Barry McElduff and the tired old rhetoric from Sinn Féin of issuing a hollow sounding apologies. Just because Sinn Féin are gaining support in the polls does not give them the right to dictate as to how much public ridicule they should receive in relation to their personal and party scandals and mistakes. Sinn Féin have no mandate as long as they engage in double standards, irrespective of their supporters who need to look closer at a party of two polarised faces. Actions speak far louder than words and this is why Sinn Féin will always be seen as totally unfit for government. They have an unsettling and destabilising effect on this island who always remind us periodically of their insensitivity and callousness. They just cannot be trusted to lead and govern a nation. They are not a sustainable party and seem to offer no solutions. Have they learned anything since power-sharing and what politics is really all about which is people, not tribalism or reigniting the blood thirsty and its imbued terrorist past.
Sinn Féin’s politics are stale not inspiring or forward looking. They tell us the DUP are out of step and they were responsible to the collapse of power-sharing, but Sinn Féin pulled out of power-sharing by failing to nominate a deputy first minister and are once again apologising for the antics of their members. Sinn Féin do not have the maturity to improve politics on this island. There is a feeling of hopelessness from them as they try to dig themselves out of trouble again and again.
McElduff is not the first and will probably not be the last to send out the wrong message as power-sharing slips away  and the turmoil and chaos of Brexit takes over. Sinn Féin-IRA have shown time and time again the fickle nature of the republican movement who talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. Do Sinn Féin really want to be in government or is it a mechanism for tearing it down while protesting? If that is the game they will continue to play, then no real progress will be possible at any stage. 

MAURICE FITZGERALD
Shanbally, Co Cork

 

MLA’s comments on abortion morally reprehensible

I find the comments of Clare Bailey MLA (January 11) morally reprehensible given that she and her Green Party campaign against hunting, where living animals are torn apart by other animals but yet screams for abortion.
She also has the usual bash at the Catholic Church. I’m sure abortion campaigners secretly know that the crime of abortion is so evil, so hideous, that the only way it can be made to look in any way good is for it to be made legal, as this allegedly takes the evil sheen off it.

Her party, among others, also blatantly campaigns for the rights of our children, their brothers and sisters, and our disabled friends and relatives, but yet wants to allow women to abort these very same babies in the womb right up to the day of delivery if necessary, for whatever reason including social ones. 

Ms Bailey will never say abortion discriminates against unborn disabled children; unborn baby girls; the innocent victims of rape and incest; babies with so-called imperfections and others.
Women never need abortions as professional pro-life help and counselling for women and girls in crisis pregnancies is available.
The Greens could redeem themselves if they campaigned for more peri-natal care for new mothers instead.

So, who does hold the moral high ground? I think, after all, it’s Ms Bailey’s favourite whipping boy, the Catholic Church, along with other pro-life Christians and campaigners of other faiths and none. Certainly not Ms Bailey.

JOHN AUSTIN
Limavady, Co Derry

 

Gulf needs to be created between SF and the past

Before the Barry McElduff saga is placed in the history books a number to things should be noted. The video incident which was the immediate cause of his demise must be seen in the context of his previous behaviour. This includes his support for the East Tyrone IRA who met their fate at Loughgall, and his adulation of Raymond McCreesh, when he suggested that should be awarded a peace prize. Given that whose who died at Loughgall, and Raymond McCreesh in particular, were suspected of involvement in the Kingsmills Massacre, this puts the video incident into perspective. This helps us to understand why it is difficult to accept that it was unintentional and why it was so hurtful.

If we are to make any progress in terms of the ‘reconciliation’ expressed by Barry McElduff, then both he and the party of which he is still a member, will need to create a huge gulf between themselves and the terrorism of the past.

BRIAN KENNAWAY (Rev)
South Antrim

 

Dark night of the soul

An interesting letter from Clare Bailey MLA (January 11)in her critique of the Catholic Church and the abortion issue. She raised the past pronouncements of popes regarding at what stage the infusion of the soul known as ‘ensoulment’ takes place. The modern Church has kept away from that debate probably because although it believes we all possess a soul but at what development of the foetus remains a mystery?  The scientist and mystic Alan Kardec, father of the philosophy Spiritism, taught that all potential life was sacred but that souls could choose when to ‘infuse’ with the foetus. Abortion was only justified when the mother’s life was endangered as abortion prevented that soul from fulfilling its earthy mission. But then those kind of teachings are usually dismissed in our materialistic world so it is not surprising that the soul is left out of the debate. 

JOHN-PATRICK BELL
Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim

 

Rewarding ineptitude

I agree wholeheartedly with Tom Kelly (January 15) Sinn Féin members of parliament have too much time on their hands.

As an ex-south Armagh man, I recall the serious representation, workload and achievements of Seamus Mallon in Newry & Armagh, in Westminster and beyond, all the while facing down so-called loyalist and republican paramilitaries. 

One has to ask if  voters are getting anything for their vote other than childish pranks, spin and hot air. 

If a number of MPs were suspended for three months, would they even be missed? 

Furthermore, if the voters reward ineptitude, do we become accomplices in this failure?

SEAMUS SAVAGE
Dublin 15

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