Letters to the Editor

Not sure that Turlough Quinn grasps what freedom really means

Turlough Quinn asserts at the beginning of his letter (April 29) that perhaps Sinn Féin has not caught onto his notion that ‘a united Ireland is really not all that important to people any more’. He does not specify who the people are that he is referring to. Irish people north of the border, Irish people south of the border, loyalist/unionist people or people in the British government.

Therefore, the other assertions that he refers to concerning these ‘people’ are not able to be viewed as evidence of how an electorate might vote on the removal of the ‘line’ on the map and the deconstruction of British rule in the six county statelet.

Theoretically, had the French over centuries invaded England and managed to sequester and colonise East Anglia, would the English inside the line drawn around East Anglia have accepted French rule in the colonised part of England?

What would the repercussions have been from the rest of England? There are many questions emanating from this vein of thinking, relating to the independence and autonomy of a country.

Would English people who resisted French rule from within the theoretical statelet be freedom fighters or terrorists?

In our own context here in the six counties we know that the border, or the line drawn on the map, has caused immense difficulties for Irish people living within its confines for almost 100 years.

Rather than a rambling rant about the border, it is necessary to nail down the fact that the line was drawn across Ireland to protect and enhance the political, social, and cultural safety and well-being of the unionists/loyalists at the expense of the indigenous Catholic population.

The only reason they ended up with six counties instead of the nine in Ulster was their need to have a Protestant electoral majority to secure their future.

It must also be pointed out that the people who comprise the loyalist/unionist viewpoint in the six counties, at no point in history have in any meaningful way attempted to harmonise their cultural beliefs with that of the Irish people, which would have left integration with their nationalist neighbours more likely. This did not happen. Quite the opposite in fact.

I hope that Turlough’s head gets all the peace that it needs, but I’m not sure that he grasps what freedom really means.

I know that my own thinking about freedom deals with an internalised cherished concept of being able to be who I am in my own land. This notion would come from my own, generations before me, and I would feel good about telling my own children about their Irish identity.

The ‘line’ on the map was put there by a nation now squealing about its own borders.

Justice is coming up around the bend.

Derry City


North’s biggest industry has been left abandoned during pandemic

During the Coronavirus pandemic there has been a raft of schemes brought forward by the Stormont Executive, some have been excellent and others not so good. But they all have one thing in common, they are trying to help the people of the north to survive this unprecedented pandemic.

The one department that seems to have gone missing in all this is the Department of Agriculture. Minister Poots has brought nothing forward of any substance to help the farming community. His department seems to have been engaged in a process equivalent to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic just before it sank.

It is incredible that the biggest industry in the north has been left abandoned at a time when agriculture is needed more than ever.
Our community needs a local agricultural industry like never before, but it is being left to die by the lack of action by the very department that is supposed to protect it.

I am calling on the minister to come forward with proposals immediately to help our farming community to survive this crisis.
At a time when the price
farmers are receiving for their product is falling while at the same time prices in the shops are raising we need an agricultural minister
who is championing the farming industry.

Sinn Féin, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council


Double standards

I am gobsmacked by the level of outcry and press coverage about the uproar in relation to the metal boundary that has been erected around the Chinese Consulate on the Malone Road. The level of outcry has included input from the Attorney General and local politicians. I totally agree that this construction is an eyesore, however, why have we not seen the same level of outcry and press coverage in relation to the equally unsightly steel bridge that replaced a beautiful brick bridge on Finaghy Road North? This eyesore has been in place for years, despite objections from local residents, and it resembles the security barricades that were in place at the height of the troubles. As this eyesore is also located in south Belfast – but granted not on the leafy Malone Road area –   I’m left with the conclusion that it must be a class issue. Is anything acceptable for those residents who live in less affluent areas of south Belfast? I ask this question also mindful that the Chinese Consulate have confirmed that this fence is only a temporary measure.

M Cullen
Belfast BT11


Amnesty has strayed from original vision

Once upon a time I believed that Amnesty International was a force for good in a very troubled world and I was a staunch supporter of its humanitarian actions, its constant work for peace and justice and its formidable record on human rights issues worldwide.

Once upon a time I believed that a crocus would emerge from a crocus bulb, a tulip from a tulip bulb an oak tree from an acorn and a human being from a foetus, that other outcomes were impossible.

How then can an organisation founded on the principles of human rights for all, now maintain that promoting the termination of countless pre-birth babies is not a breach of its own raison d’etre?
How will it respond to the rights of medical staff who refuse to have any part in abortions? How has Amnesty strayed so far from its original vision?

Once upon a time I thought babies emerged from cabbage patches or from Nurse

Molloy’s black bag – I was wrong then and I think that Amnesty is wrong now.

Dunmurry, Co Antrim

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Letters to the Editor