Letters to the Editor

How many times do unionists need to be fooled before they cop on?

I think that the setting up of the Northern State was perhaps one of the greatest, undemocratic Political Entity creations of the 20th century.
In the preceding Election 1918 the vast majority of the seats were won by parties, none of whom wanted partition.

Had Churchill not given Collins an ultimatum akin to the Godfather “either your signature or your brains are going to be on this document”  would he ever have signed the treaty? Then to accurately name this place ‘Northern Ireland’ it would have been necessary to draw the border from Newry to Sligo.
When the state was being set up, had there been a referendum more than 75 per cent of the citizens of the country (based on 1918 Election) would have voted against partition, even a substantial number of the PUL community (including Carson) did not want the country divided but the British wanted rid of Ireland so a border was needed to solve a British problem just as 100 years later a border is needed again to solve a British problem.
We have been told that the British have no selfish, strategic or economic interest in this place and when we decide to leave the UK, we can go, except, the British will decide when to ask the question, presumably when it suits their political agenda and now the rumour is that some people want a majority of at least 70 per cent in favour of a change when 51 per cent of a British not Irish vote, took us out of Europe, against our will, as zero per cent vote in 1921 took us out of Ireland again against the will of
the majority.
So I say again where is the democracy boasted of by, for example the DUP who by rights should be called the Undemocratic Unionist Party, when they have the cheek to use the Good Friday Agreement which they opposed to thwart the democratic majority.
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
How many times does Johnson need to fool unionists until they cop on that he doesn’t give a damn for anyone on this island no matter what flag they fly.

PETER McEVOY
Newry, Co Down

 

Feeney article no more than propaganda

First let me say that The Irish News is a good read every day – this coming from a unionist of the retired element in society.

Next, can I pose the question: are the iceberg parties in Northern Ireland subject to the global warming process? Both the DUP and Sinn Féin are in some turmoil. Bring on the moderates – SDLP and Alliance,bring them on.

Incidentally or importantly may I comment on Brian Feeney and his article on the 100 years of The Failed Unionist State 1921-2021.

Mr Feeney may have his facts correct about the Protestant country for a Protestant people.... but his failure to provide a context is a disappointing flaw. Mr De Valera first enunciated the notion in his mantra... A Catholic State for a Catholic People and in fact the theocratic nature of the Irish Free State had begun in 1922 when the Dáil made divorce illegal... to the horror of WB Yeats – the poet of the 1916 rebellion – and this was followed by a constitution which predicated the compliance of all legislation with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church – from whence ensued decades of poverty, rule by priests, corruption  and huge emigration.

Now this was not unique to the Free State or Northen Ireland  in the 1920s and 1930s – an explosion of small nation states and large produced some horrifying regimes all over Europe. Fascists, Nazis, the horrible Iron Guard in Romania. In fact the persecution of Jews became actual legislation in Poland, predating the Nazis by 10 years.

Now Mr Feeney, set your article in this context and see how it looks now – Northern Ireland  and the Free State were just typical of that time, no worse but no better.
You are reading history through the lens of a much later time. So admit it, your article was not historical, it was no more than propaganda.

RAYMOND MITCHELL
Portadown, Co Armagh

 

North has nothing to celebrate

Northern Ireland’s centenary should herald the beginning of a new era of peace and prosperity, rather than looking back, only to find itself paying homage to sectarianism, tribalism, and extreme violence. Northern Ireland has nothing to be that proud of, given its very troubled history. What is there to celebrate? Mass murder; divided communities; misgovernance; poisonous tribal politics;  paramilitary organisations;  imbued religious bigotry and its institutionalism; street violence; sectarian schools; sinister murals and a place separated by walls of concrete and steel garrisons. Not to mention a heavy military presence discreetly watching in the background. Celebration indeed. A conflict which has raged on since the late 1960s and brought thousands to an early death and more with serious lifelong physical and psychological injuries. It can however celebrate business successes as a world-class aircraft manufacturer, ship builder and a vehicle builder. In addition to being a hot tourist and sporting spot with its Causeway coastline walkways, scenic vistas and markets. Northern Ireland’s centenary should not be a celebration as such, but a pause to take stock and remember all those who have fallen during the Troubles and why. Any glorious celebration would be a salute to the Troubles and a nauseating travesty.

MAURICE FITZGERALD
Shanbally, Co Cork

 

Subsidy myths

Londoner and former chancellor Denis Healey once dismissed Westminster’s claims that Scotland runs a deficit as “a myth.”

Business For Scotland point out that the1974 McCrone report was suppressed for decades after it concluded an independent Scotland would “suffer an embarrassment of riches”  – mainly from its huge oil and fish stocks.

It’s laughable to hear talk of a ‘subsidy’ to Stormont from Westminster when a Nevin economic report showed how taxpayers in Belfast are paying for museums in London! The people of Crossmaglen are helping out with the cost of the Afghanistan invasion.

The Manchester/Cumbria region runs a deficit of around £19bn every year but no one complains about subsidising them.

We never hear much about the £20bn in taxes raised from Derry and Newry etc  annually. It’s a massive sum considering the other 26 counties only raise €40bn between them. Either the north-eastern corner of Ireland is very wealthy or is the region is being fleeced by Her Majesty’s Revenue?

Here in Cork Europhile politicians like Micheál Martin like to tell us about all the ‘grants’ and ‘subsidies’ sent over from Europe but they don’t like talking about the fact that the 26-county state is a net contributor to the bloated Brussels’ budget.

MICHAEL O’FLYNN
Cork City, Co Cork

 

 

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