Opinion

Sinn Féin sympathy for gardaí after Dublin riots rings very hollow

A bus and car on fire on O'Connell Street in Dublin city centre
A bus and car on fire on O'Connell Street in Dublin city centre A bus and car on fire on O'Connell Street in Dublin city centre

At a time when the Republic of Ireland’s hard-earned reputation both as a welcoming and safe place for immigrants fleeing torture and death and a safe tourist destination is being undermined, it was imperative that all democratic forces stood together against the far right.

Instead, Sinn Féin once again cynically and opportunistically exploited the situation for narrow selfish political advantage, showing a callous disregard for those victims who have suffered including not only immigrants, but also the Dublin city centre business community and the gardaí who courageously confronted the violent mobs.

Sinn Féin sympathy for the gardaí rings very hollow indeed. It should not be forgotten that republican terrorist organisations, including the Provisional IRA, were responsible for the murder of 23 gardaí yet Sinn Féin representatives continue to glorify the IRA campaign of terror which was also responsible for the murder of the majority of all the victims of the Troubles.

As the date of the next Dáil election in the Republic draws ever closer, they should prove their fitness for government by disassociating themselves from the actions of the IRA instead of glorifying them.

Instead, they choose to condemn and blame Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (whose father was murdered by the IRA) for last week’s disturbances, rather than join forces with them to confront the present anti-democratic forces of the far right.

Far right extremism is not a new phenomenon on the island of Ireland. It gave birth to the Troubles in Northern Ireland also. Both republican and loyalist terrorist organisations were the main exponents of it. They murdered people because they were of a different religion or culture from themselves. They also undermined democratic institutions by murdering democratically elected members of Stormont, Dáil Éireann and Westminster.

Democratic forces must unite to ensure far right political extremism plays no part in future political life in either part of Ireland.

John Cushnahan


Lisnagry, Co. Limerick

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised a treaty with Rwanda and emergency legislation after the Supreme Court ruled that sending asylum seekers to the African nation would be unlawful
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised a treaty with Rwanda and emergency legislation after the Supreme Court ruled that sending asylum seekers to the African nation would be unlawful Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised a treaty with Rwanda and emergency legislation after the Supreme Court ruled that sending asylum seekers to the African nation would be unlawful

Simple steps can be taken to end merry-go-round of legal challenges

THE beauty of politics is that it is entirely possible to take the same suite of evidence used by someone else to make a completely different argument and draw a new set of conclusions.

Patricia Mac Bride (November 30) observes that the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, is between a rock and a hard place as the legislation he proposes to end the merry-go-round of legal challenges, by setting out in law that Rwanda is a safe country, can’t be fulfilled without a work-around that effectively disapplies the Human Rights Act, which gives effect in law to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). But she is wrong to do so. There are arguably three relatively simple steps that can be taken.

First, as of March 28 2023, the terrorism threat level in Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism has been rated as ‘severe’, which means an attack is considered to be highly likely, and this rating has applied for the last 25 years from the signing of the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement (GFBA).

And so instead of introducing legislation to declare Rwanda a ‘safe country’ for refugees and asylum-seekers, the prime minister needs only declare that Northern Ireland (NI) is not a safe country and by association neither is Great Britain (GB). Therefore all those arriving in the UK to claim asylum or refugee status should by default be immediately returned to the last ‘safe’ country from where they came. And, as much of the terrorist threat to NI emanates from Ireland, there is a strong argument to be made that the same applies to that jurisdiction as well.

Secondly, disapplying the Human Rights Act, which gives effect to the ECHR, is not problematic if it is only applied to GB, surely, as there would then be no impact upon NI and the GFBA?

Thirdly, if both of these suggestions are implemented then the case for rejecting claims for asylum will be far stronger, surely?

One last observation; if Irish republicans and nationalists would like both NI and the Republic to be declared ‘safe’ countries for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants then the solution is simple: dissident Irish republicans need to declare a complete cessation – much like they’re currently arguing for in Gaza.

Dr Bernard Mulholland


Belfast BT9

Time for the politicians to drop eyewash politics

AS prices of necessary commodities, food, clothing, electricity, phone rental, petrol and expenses etc go up, up, up, consumers’ bank balances go down, down, down.

The economy appears to have got into a precarious state – is it liberal capitalism, the price of raw materials or what? It is taking its toll to the extent that consumers are finding it harder and harder to manage their home budgets. As the price of necessary commodities continue to rise throughout the year, in retail and wholesale outlets, it gives the impression that the yearly budget no longer determines a stable price range that consumers can manage their income and expenditure around.

Are we to believe that such an up-in-the-air economy is good for our wellbeing? How can it be if consumers are finding that they need to deprive themselves of healthy food such as red meat, fish and chicken, heating, hot water and warm clothes in order to meet bills for rates, electricity, car repairs, car insurance, petrol etc, all of which nowadays are necessary to earn a living.

No, such an economy gives rise to poor diet, insufficient warmth and deterioration of adequate hygiene facilities, due to lack of hot running water, which all in turn lead to health problems, physical and mental. Isn’t it time that our politicians and world leaders drop eyewash politics and engage in meaningful politics that everybody can relate to and give all a chance to progress.

Patrick Merrick


Carnlough, Co Antrim