Letters to the Editor

Tories can realise dreams by jettisoning north into a united Ireland

In the present debacle over Brexit, with the white paper still to be revealed and cabinet resignations abounding, I can’t help feeling that there is something that must be a thought on many Brexiteers’  hard and soft, minds but not being vocalised, at least in public.
It is the truth that the conundrum of maintaining a soft Irish Border, more than any other issue, is preventing the UK realising its ambitions of an almost complete severance of ties to the EU. Were this factor to be removed then allegedly it would only be the areas of business and trade that would raise the issue of remaining in the single market and customs union, things which Brexiteers desire to be completely done with. If Northern Ireland’s, or Ireland’s, or the UK’s border in Ireland, depending on how you wish to describe it, were not to be an issue, there are many Brexiteers who believe that the UK could form new trade deals and work their way to glory.

Therefore, how long will it be into the next round of negotiations before this is vocalised, not by the EU but by the UK themselves? And how long before the nonsensical statement by Mrs May, that no British prime minister could tolerate the break-up of the union, is replaced by calls for it to happen because the alternative is a major future downturn in the UK economy because it will still be tied to most of the EU’s rules but without its benefits?

Lord Ashcroft’s poll in June asked the question of whether Leave voters would rather leave the EU or keep England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales together in the UK, if it were impossible to do both.
Most, including more than seven in 10 Tory voters, said that, I paraphrase, they would rather leave the EU, essentially jettisoning Northern Ireland.

As Northern Ireland remaining within the UK seems now only to be considered important by northern Irish unionists, with perhaps a few northern Irish others and a minority within the rest of the UK, then one must ask the question whether, if it were not for the Tories’ toxic support arrangement with the DUP which will end at the latest within a few short years, what is the point of keeping Northern Ireland in the UK any longer, when if it left right now the whole border issue with all the constraints it is apparently placing on the UK realising its Brexit dreams of future freedom and greatness, would disappear?

So, please, cabinet members, don’t be afraid of voicing your true thoughts on this. Jettison us immediately, straight into a united Ireland, then you can realise your dreams of freedom and greatness, and leave us in Ireland to realise ours.

Belfast BT9


Poverty issue should be high on politicians’ agenda

I read with interest the excellent article by Bimpe Archer (July 2) on the charity Depaul and its Mater Dei hostel in North Belfast.  

Homelessness for both families and individuals is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society and the feature relayed in very real terms the situation faced by a family and how Depaul helped them to get back on their feet. It also detailed the sometimes very complex issues surrounding homelessness and how best to tackle these going forward.

At the Society of St Vincent de Paul we work in close partnership with Depaul to address the issue of homelessness and all its associated problems and to ensure additional sources are available to those who most need our help.  
SVP takes referrals from the team in the Mater Dei hostel and many other charities and statutory organisations and extends that initial assistance into areas that include providing essentials such as fuel vouchers, food, electric, school uniforms and household items. We also run courses in home and budget management and our creches, breakfast and after school clubs are really popular with young families, while at Christmas the Mater Dei hostel receives an abundance of toys and gifts from our annual family appeal, thanks to the generosity of both our general public and businesses.

There are many reasons for individuals and families to be in need and everyone’s situation is different requiring varying levels of support from charities such as SVP and Depaul. We applaud articles like this that raise awareness of the issue surrounding poverty, keeping it high on the agenda of our politicians and elect representatives.

Regional President, SVP


Theory on Church abuse holds no credibility

McNally (June 25) makes the point that if the Church had dealt with abuse in a more direct and open manner the referendum rule might have been different.
I’m afraid that theory holds no credibility.  
Most major organisations have wrongdoers in their ranks, but people don’t abandon them because of the actions of a minority.  
Take the health service for example, did anyone desert hospitals or clinics because of the murderous Dr Harold Shipman and other dreadful recent revelations concerning the elderly?

Did parents stop sending their children to school because quite a number of teachers have been convicted of sexual offences against their pupils?

No. Those in the Republic and indeed here in the north were well down the road of liberal atheism and no longer had the ability to tell right from wrong. As I said in a previous letter, many people no longer have God in their lives. However, I do agree with R McNally about the mind numbing double standards of those who voted Yes in the referendum. If a child is assaulted or mistreated they are first in the queue to vent their anger and outrage, and yet their silence is shameful when it comes to the most vulnerable in our midst.

Coleraine, Co Derry


Perfect day so nearly a disaster

What a wonderful weekend in Ballyliffin. The organisation was wonderful, the weather brilliant and the golf superb.  I was lucky enough to sit with a perfect view of the flag on the 18th where Richard Knox sank two incredible putts to win the Irish Open.  

Then everything went sour.  Everyone was pushed back to allow him to enter for the presentation area. I turned to leave and found we were corralled in with no way of leaving until the presentation was over. I witnessed two attempts by parents to leave to escort children to the toilets but they were refused.  I spoke to a garda at the site and he told me it was a ‘European Tour gig’.

Has the lesson from Hillsborough been forgotten?  A perfect day could easily have ended in disaster.

Limavady, Co Derry


Catholics must obey Church’s teachings

I must congratulate Alban Maginness on his letter (June 22) defending the right to life of the unborn baby. He puts the case so well. Would that there were more of his ilk. How can anyone condone the termination of the unborn? Mr Maginness is saddened by the attitude of some Irish News columnists. I was shocked by their views. 
Fr Patrick McCafferty (June 27) states that you cannot be pro-abortion and remain a Catholic. Catholics must obey the teachings of the Church. Some would like to pick and choose what they believe – the a la carte variety.

Our politicians too are a great disappointment. The SDLP (for which I voted for years) has been such a let down.
I am left with no-one for  whom I can vote. The rejoicing in Dublin at the result of the referendum was sickening.

Draperstown, Co Derry

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