Letters to the Editor

Nothing for nationalists to celebrate in the carving up of Ireland

Michael D Higgins declined to go to the October 21 interdenominational service in Armagh. Picture by Chris Bellew

It is difficult to imagine how anyone from the Catholic/nationalist community could be comfortable attending a religious service to commemorate the centenary of Northern Ireland. President Higgins was perfectly right not to attend.

There is nothing for Catholic nationalism to celebrate about the carving up of the island to create a sectarian, unionist state where Catholics suffered blatant persecution and discrimination.

One only has to read Eamon Phoenix’s daily column of how Catholic workers were driven out of their work places, like the shipyard, and how the Protestant militia, in the guise of the B-Specials, ruthlessly exercised their mandate in the persecution of Catholics.

To this day no unionist will accept that they or their forefathers did anything wrong, never mind apologise for it. John Taylor, now known as Lord Kilclooney, was a member of the old ‘Protestant Parliament’. Lord Kilclooney (October 5) accepts the demographics are changing but because Catholics are now so well off in this new Northern Ireland, 40 per cent are no longer ‘united Irelanders’ as he puts it.  Lord Kilclooney goes on to list the advantages – fair employment, fair allocation of housing, a new Catholic middle-class and a £12 billion annual hand out from Westminster.

John Taylor was a member of Brian Faulkner’s government when internment was introduced in 1971, probably the biggest blunder since partition. Undoubtedly some Catholics would vote to maintain the ‘Union’ but that is in spite of the actions of him and his fellow unionists, not because of them.

As for the annual £12 billion hand out, I wouldn’t say that too loudly if I were him – it only goes to exemplify Northern Ireland’s failure, both economically and politically, and is proof of the shortcomings of the nepotistic, Orange Order controlled statelet.

His noble peers on the red benches might think it is too high a price for the flag flying, sash swaggering, bonfire burning, anti-Catholic culture that masquerades as loyalty.    

P McKENNA
Newry, Co Down

 

Be careful what you wish for

Grasping at straws and seeking alliances with erstwhile colleagues is a sign of sheer desperation and is particularly apt to the latest hackneyed and prosaic musings of a leader flapping and floundering for a lifebuoy to save himself from drowning.

Jeffrey Donaldson asserts in tones of dreary disconsolation ‘the protocol’ has to go and is threatening to pull the ‘DUP’ out of Stormont if they don’t get their demands met. He also fumbles and stumbles delivering half truths, a different one every other week, insisting the ‘protocol’ – which the DUP helped Boris, Dominic and Lord Frost deliver to his electorate – must go, contending “it contravenes Article 6 of the Act of Union”. In reality it does not – poor Jeffrey’s negotiating skills must have fallen by the wayside – as can be seen by the resulting legislation emanating from Brexit which overrides the promulgating law of the act of union – oddly he fails to mention this.

In his hubristic competition with the Boris and Brexit loyalists all he has managed to achieve is to cause embarrassment and to make himself and unionism look ridiculous with his contradictory assertions and mixed messages – it was he and his party, going against the wishes of the majority in the north, who advocated Brexit; it was he who declared that he could live with the thousands of job losses as a result of leaving the EU and it was he, although he was not alone, who continually took Boris at face value after they were repeatedly lied to.

The DUP campaigned for the hardest Brexit possible in order to maintain and strengthen the union. However, they emerged with the exact opposite and ensured that what was merely an aspiration, a united Ireland, has become a real-life practicality of a generation. The old adage of ‘be careful for what you wish for’ must be uppermost in Jeffrey Donaldson’s thoughts.

KEVIN McCANN
Belfast BT1

 

Leaving a legacy of incompetence

There have been paper articles along with television news items about the amount of waste from our little community being put into the ground to become a future hazard as well as nearly a million tons of waste each year being shipped all over the world.
The six councils in the Belfast area spent a decade studying the best practice for disposing of waste, they took many councillors to examine these disposal methods in cities throughout Europe.
All the councillors were impressed. Yet when Belfast City Council had the opportunity to help create an economically, healthy, environmentally progressive energy waste plant the small majority of councillors voted against the motion, despite some of those councillors agreeing that the opportunity should be approved.

So some seven or eight years after this nonsensical vote we are still polluting the world and our neighbouring Belfast Hills with no advantage to anyone other than those who make money out of disposal.

One can cite several examples of our incompetence, political or otherwise, as we continue to sleep walk in a world that is far from 21st century  competence.

Is this generation going to leave our legacy of incompetence for our grandchildren?

TOM EKIN
Belfast BT1

 

‘Not wanting to cause offence’

Deaglán de Bréadún (October 13) maintains that Simon Coveney and Jack Chambers deserve “praise” for attending the commemoration in Armagh.

However, If both of these men had been burned out of their homes during the pogroms, this term might provoke some thought.

Instead, I would assume that both Mr Coveney and Mr Chambers were raised comfortably in the heavily censored 26 counties. This was akin to living on a different planet than that experienced by many nationalists in the north-east.

Therefore, I think the more appropriate term in relation to Irish government participation at Armagh is “appeasement” or rather a description which fits well with a colonised mentality  – ‘not wanting to cause offence’.

DR MÍCEÁL DANIEL CRONIN
Tallanstown, Co. Louth

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