DUP being allowed to scatter Good Friday Agreement to the winds
Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and the rag-tag group of meaningless individuals that constitute the incumbent Free State government should hang their heads in abject shame at the way in which they have allowed the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) to be scattered to the winds by the DUP and the British government.
As co-guarantors of the GFA, it is their responsibility to ensure the workings of all three strands of the agreement, and they have failed miserably in every way possible. The British government is the other co-guarantor of the GFA, but one can expect little from this shamed institution which is currently in turmoil, and which will continue to use the six counties for the benefit of its own selfish interests. The Irish government is so enmeshed in simply keeping itself in power that it has neither the time nor the interest in protecting the GFA and is allowing the DUP, a party which never supported the agreement, to use it for party political gain.
The complete lack of interest being shown by the government in the south should be of no surprise to nationalists in the north as previous governments have also shirked their responsibility in actively encouraging an all-Ireland approach on the island. Now, however, the government of the south is sitting idly by while the DUP uses the Agreement as a bargaining tool with the British government to get their own way over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The DUP are, in fact, holding the whole population of the six counties – unionist and nationalist – to ransom at a time of great economic poverty and in the midst of a lethal pandemic. They are being allowed to do this virtually unchallenged, and while families are struggling to put food on their tables and heat in their homes, the DUP are solely interested in their own narrow and selfish political aims. Unionist families, as well as nationalist families, are suffering now on a daily basis and the DUP appears not to care enough to put people before politics
Every other party in the north, except the TUV of course, have called on the DUP to stop preventing the institutions from getting up and running, all the parties in Britain have called for the same as have the political parties in the south, along with the administration in the US.
All these calls have fallen on deaf ears. There is a way out of this impasse if the two co-guarantors are serious about protecting the agreement which is clearly being abused by Donaldson and company.
Simply introduce some changes to the rules as they did at St Andrews and get all three strands working as they are supposed to, and get the much-needed help out to the people who are currently struggling to make ends meet. That simple change would be to offer the DFM post to the next largest unionist party if the largest refuses to comply with the rules.
Craigavon, Co Armagh
any will have been pleased to see the departure of one politician with undue influence on our politics – Boris Johnson. But a recent anniversary should give people cause for concern about another politician with undue influence over our politics – Joe Biden.
July 26 is celebrated as the start of the Cuban revolution. It was on that date in 1953 that an attack by Fidel Castro and his comrades, on an army barracks in Santiago de Cuba, opened the road to the popular resistance and ultimate victory over the dictator Batista and his American backers.
To date no US government has accepted the right of the Cuban people to self-determination. Instead successive administrations have tried all sorts of ways to destabilise and overthrow the sovereignty of the Cuban people. Central to these attempts is an illegal economic blockade. Its aim is to punish the Cuban people for having asserted their national sovereignty and chosen a path to socialism under the leadership of the Cuban Communist Party.
In a letter to President Biden, handed into the American Consulate in Belfast last month, local communists pointed out the hypocrisy of his recently expressed concern that “too much blood, sweat and tears have been shed” in finding a way to promote peace and well-being here, while at the same time he has no regard for the “blood, sweat and tears” directly attributable to his administration’s illegal blockade of Cuba
There are no international laws providing a legal mandate to the US government’s coercive measures. There are however international laws showing this economic warfare amounts to genocide.
Anyone looking to the US President as a friend of the Irish people should think long and hard about Cuba’s experience.
Sabina’s letter merits serious consideration
There have been many requests, or rather demands, that Mrs Sabina Higgins, wife of President Higgins, would withdraw her recent appeal to the world “to persuade President Zelensky of Ukraine and President Putin of Russia to agree to a ceasefire and negotiations”. I think that Mrs Higgins’ letter merits serious consideration whether so-called ‘moral equivalence’ exists or not.
It is probably impossible for most of us to accept that both Putin and Zelensky can claim to have long-term right on their side. So let us then hope and pray that, with good will and skilled, objective, international facilitation, a peace treaty will be brokered and any further carnage of human life will cease.
Sr MC O’BYRNE
St Louis Convent, Monaghan
Negotiations for peace
Following weeks of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, led by Turkey and the United Nations, a ship carrying Ukrainian grain has left the port of Odesa for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion. This internationally brokered deal to unblock Ukraine’s agricultural exports will ease a growing global food crisis must surely be welcomed by everyone.
Perhaps Irish mainstream media will now see that the next logical step is to encourage even more negotiations to end this war in Ukraine, and even more balance in this debate.
The Peace and Neutrality Alliance has been advocating a ceasefire and UN chaired negotiations since the start of the war, and we warmly welcome the intervention of long-time peace activist Sabina Coyne Higgins into this debate.
Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Dalkey, Co Dublin