Letters to the Editor

When will DUP stop falling for Conservative Party lies?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the DUP Party conference in Belfast in 2018 where he told delegates that there would only be a border in the Irish Sea over his dead body 

AS riots flare up Northern Ireland once again, Arlene Foster and her party cast aspersions on a chief constable in an attempt to divert attention from their political failure in believing Boris Johnson.
At the party’s self-congratulatory 2018 annual conference when he boomed that there would never be any regulatory or custom checks in the Irish Sea between Britain and Northern Ireland, and in August 2020, now prime minister, but still booming to a besotted DUP: “There will be no border down the Irish Sea: Over my dead body.”
Well there is and Boris Johnson is very much alive.

Therein lies the real reason for riots, the NI Protocol, part of the Brexit deal between London and Brussels which leaves Northern Ireland part of the EU Single Market and therefore creates a trade border for goods in the Irish Sea between Britain and the rest of the UK. 

Had the DUP accepted Theresa May’s resolution of a ‘backstop’, it would have kept the whole of the UK aligned with European Union goods regulations and would have kept NI and the UK together in terms of trading arrangements. 

But with its usual lack of political vision the DUP voted down the deal and we can all now repent at leisure. 

When will this party ‘catch on’ that the Conservative Party could not care less about this province?
Former Secretary of State Patrick Mayhew in 1993 during an interview with a German newspaper complained about the cost to the Exchequer of Northern Ireland, which at present runs about £10 billion.  

His final words were: “People think we don’t want to let Northern Ireland leave the UK. If I am being completely honest we’d do it with pleasure.”

Wilson Burgess
Derry City

 

 

Here’s hoping the Derry-Donegal partnership can reach the heights of Slieve League

THE analysis by Andrew Webb published in The Irish News (Business Insight April 6) was strikingly juxtaposed by an image of the magnificent sea cliffs at Slieve League. Also striking was the writer’s optimism about the scale of economic integration in the Derry-Donegal area. 
Andrew tells us that he has been working lately on reports for clients in the north west and he seems to be under the impression that the integration of our regional economy is supported by two governments and the riots.
However, recent correspondence, through Derry City and Strabane District Council, with the partnership, revealed to our dismay that the partnership appears to be working still to a blueprint drawn up in the days of the Fresh Start Agreement (may God be good to it).
At its most recent meeting in March, post-Brexit and New Decade New Approach appeared high on the partnership’s agenda. There is indeed an urgent need for a joined up post-Brexit, post-NDNA direction of Derry-Donegal development. The priorities for a genuine NW partnership must be to face the challenges, and seize the opportunities, of economic development in a post-Brexit landscape including the creation of  a new Derry-Donegal university to service the tens of thousands of brilliant young students we are exporting all over the world.
An input from “4 key Educational Institutions in the Region” was slated for the March meeting but the optics aren’t fooling the people of the north west.
We need genuine partnership, and we need to do better.
We hope that one day soon genuine economic regional partnership between Derry and Donegal may reach the heights of Slieve League in terms of real measurable outcomes.

Joseph Martin and Garbhan Downey
North West Columban Initiative

 

To be inclusive the integrated sector needs to embrace Gaelic culture

MANY of your readers having read C Hughes’ two recent letters detailing his ‘traumatic experiences’ of integrated education must now realise that the term itself, ie, integrated, is a misnomer and that it should be replaced with the term ‘assimilated’ as that is the ethos of such schools, an ethos described in detail by C Hughes in his first letter a few weeks ago.

‘Integrated’ for most people here would mean coming together and the sharing of one’s cultures to better know each other and to grow in that knowledge but that does not happen in the integrated sector; what does happen is that the Gaelic culture is ignored and the British/Northern Irish culture is strongly promoted.

How many integrated schools have boys or girls playing gaelic football or hurling or camogie or handball? Few have entered any of the many competitions available.

The aim of the integrated sector as declared by a former female columnist in your paper, and someone involved in the Hazelwood school, was to, and I paraphrase, to develop good citizens of Northern Ireland.

To really be inclusive, integrated schools and their supporters need to take the blinkers off and introduce Gaelic culture in the form of sports, language and music into their schools asap.

James McClean
Belfast 17

 

 

Praise for ‘newfound’ columnist – a real gem

I BUY The Irish News every day. Read an article in your paper the other day entitled: “Let’s leave the past in the past” by Leona O’Neill. I must say, I really enjoyed this piece.
You’ve unearthed a gem here. I think, she is so devoid of fancy language, so to the point but yet so sad and unfortunately, so truthful – shame on all of us. But Leona has been with us for years – where have you been I hear you say. Well, I’d be a big Brian Feeney fan, closely followed by John Manley, so if truth be told, I thought Leona only wrote about family matters and I would have ignored that stuff (mea culpa) – not my cup of tea. You are trying to tackle a major problem here Leona, solve this one and you’d be a millionaire overnight; it’s that complicated.

We’re talking here about sectarianism, which like all forms of racism, is usually passed down from generation to generation.
How do we fix this?
I haven’t a clue – as the last few days have taught us, sectarianism can rear its ugly head at any time – it’s always beneath the surface in this place.
But, as Gerry Adams said about the Catholic/Protestant dimension to our woes: “You can’t put a sectarian analysis on a political problem.” 

But we’ll come to that again...

Kieran Dunphy
Belfast
BT15

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