Letters to the Editor

Why doesn't Sir Jeffrey say what he really wants – a land border

Feed the crocodile and it will come back for more – sounds familiar. Not long ago Arlene Foster came out with this line, now the same statement could be said about Jeffrey Donaldson and the DUP party.

Jeffrey, when speaking to the media – which he strives to do at every opportunity – talks about his seven-point plan to deal with the protocol. Truth be told (don’t hold your breath) this seven-point plan has been hatched prior to the last election as a ‘plan B’ should Sinn Féin come out as the largest party. By implementing their seven-point protocol plan the DUP, being quite crafty, use it as a reason to not sit or work with Sinn Féin as the largest party. Very convenient, I hear you say.

Now back to that crocodile. Jeffrey Donaldson must be so pleased to see Boris Johnson stumble from one crisis to another, increasingly losing support from his own MPs along the way, exposing him as bait to use in order to meet Jeffrey’s goals. Having a seven-point plan to address the protocol is designed to be a protracted process. I see Jeffrey’s plan as, ‘Let’s start with something of minor importance…’ - and believe you me, they are indeed minor to the DUP, who have no empathy for anyone outside their party suffering through financial difficulty or waiting for hospital treatment.  Let’s start with east-west trading and let Boris come up with some half-hatched plan which the DUP will give a warm welcome to in order to get Boris on the hook. As we go down our list the line will tighten on Boris to deliver for the DUP who will of course show their support for him in his hour of need, as and when called for, when Westminster votes determine his tenure as prime minister. While all this is happening the DUP deny Sinn Féin electing their First Minister by staying out of Stormont. It may take up to three years to get to number seven and the ‘biggy’. The Conservatives, by this time with their new leader, will have to decide whether to side with the DUP demands, once more, for a hard border and abandon the Irish Sea border. By this time Sinn Féin will have been denied appointing a First Minister and it will be time again for another local election. At no time does the DUP care about the people of Northern Ireland and the cost of living crisis, their goal is having a hard border re-established and keeping Sinn Féin from having a First Minister.

When the next election returns Sinn Féin as the largest party (again) the DUP will most likely call for ‘Home Rule’ to be implemented.

Co Armagh


Revisionist history

Teaching history in British schools is a bit of a misnomer due to the fact that it’s like talking to yourself in the mirror, because it’s your version and your version only. The problem in recent years for Britain’s education system is that minorities in Britain –  whether they be Irish, Indian, west Indian, African or whatever – have grown and strengthened in stature. So, the questions begin to be asked about identity. How or why did we get here? Why was Britain in our country in the first place? The list goes on and on and the answer becomes more difficult to explain from a moral perspective because colonising of countries against their will by a belligerent empire is what has to be told in a truthful manner. Ireland has been at the brunt of Britain’s denial in owning up to the results of its historic colonising forays within Ireland’s borders going back generations.

Boris Johnson and his elite are calling out about war crimes being committed in Ukraine while ignoring and trying to hush-up the war crimes their army committed on Irish streets. The Ballymurphy Massacre families have been paid large sums in recent days for damages in respect of the murders of their loved ones by the infamous Parachute regiment. On January 30 1972 the same regiment gunned down a further 14 innocent civilians in Derry with more injured. And still in 2022, they operate with impunity in disregarding justice and international democratic decisions by bringing absolute shame on themselves with their intention of unilaterally jeopardising the Good Friday Agreement and everything it represents.

How will teachers explain British history to students who are going to ask why did their armed soldiers gun down unarmed civilians with impunity, and why they condemn others for carrying out the same actions that they themselves were responsible for doing ? No, I certainly would not like to be a history teacher in a British school trying to teach their revisionist version of how they helped and saved races of people from oblivion.

Gort an Choirc, Dún na nGall


Stupidity and ignorance is alive and well

When it comes to double standards, no party can match the DUP. No party even comes close. When US politicians arrived here recently, Richard Neal had the courage to state that opposition to the protocol was manufactured. Not wanting the hear the truth, loyalists responded with insults and name calling about his Irish roots. Nothing new there. Many of us will recall how Jeffrey Donaldson, in the early days of the protocol, told us we could enjoy the benefits of both worlds in trade and business. That was fine, until he was reminded that their little Englander status was in mortal danger. He then went into panic mode. He then formed a circus and travelled the Ulster outback warning unionists that their Britishness was being eroded, and it was time for action.

People will have noticed the humiliating climb down by the DUP. We listened to them demand the protocol be scrapped; now, it’s about getting it fixed. Surely the biggest own goal belongs to Donaldson himself. He is now bleating that because of the present stalemate, the economy is now suffering. That’s rich, coming from a man who casually stated that 40,000 job losses would be no big deal. Stupidity and ignorance is alive and well.

Coleraine, Co Derry


Our trees need protecting

Trees are the lungs of the earth. As they grow, they help to stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air. Trees define the character of an area by providing an interesting and attractive landscape. The benefits for the health and well-being of humans can not be under estimated, neither can the role in creating a habitat for wildlife, and some of the many benefits that trees provide to us every day.

How disheartening it is that over the last couple of months in the Newry, Mourne and Down area of outstanding natural beauty, there has been a cull of trees, changing our landscape forever. Some of these trees were up to 100 years old.

Under the Planning Act 2011, local authorities can impose Tree Preservation Order (TPO) sections 122 & 123 state. ‘These orders are imposed to protect selected trees or woodland if their removal is likely to have significant impact on the local environment and enjoyment by the public.’

Some local authorities are ahead of the game, sadly not my own whose duty it is to protect our trees, environment and AONB. Tree Preservation Orders need to be introduced with immediate effect before any more trees are lost.

Leaving us then with the question who will protect us from our protectors?

Warrenpoint, Co Down

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access


Letters to the Editor