Thursday 25 December 2014

Flying flags

Published 09/01/2013 | 17:00

• All this rioting about a stupid flag. What the hell is the mentality like?

Correct me if I am wrong, but almost all the protesters are most likely born in Ireland right? So why are they even remotely interested in the British (and English-perceived) flag? They should only be flying the Irish flag. If they like England so much, hop on the ferry and go live there, easy as that.

It seems a bit like Kiwis rioting because the Australian flag is not flown on the New Zealand parliament buildings.

Neill Laurenson
Christchurch, New Zealand

• The protests over the restriction placed on the flying of the Union flag over Belfast City Hall continue, and it is no surprise. If the Union flag cannot be flown, what flag should take its place? The protesters are entitled to a national identity of some kind, without question, and should not be placed in an expedient no- man's land. Just what is Northern Ireland, anyway?

Canada, which could be compared to Ireland in an imperial context, got its autonomy from Britain back in the 19th Century. So what exactly are British intentions in Ireland? To hold us all in our current, almost nightmare state, with civil strife and lack of investment, up north, and dysfunction and austerity down south? It's quite a self-indulgence on Westminster's part. Indeed, it has been so since 1920, when the present unworkable constitutional arrangement was imposed on the people of this island, in defiance of the democratic will.

Mr Cameron's plan to hold a G8 summit, in Enniskillen of all places, has only added to the tension. It's not often realised, but both communities in the North feel the other's pain. So, Belfast has seen five consecutive nights of rioting, which will leave its scar. If Westminster will not hear their cry for help, perhaps Dublin will, for if Britain has shown anything in recent days, it is its sheer irresponsibility. Mr Cameron's cheap threat of war against Argentina over the Falkland Islands speaks volumes.

If there's one thing that distinguishes the Irish from the British, it's that we don't do war, or aggression, usually. Our defence forces support justice and peace in troubled places all over this planet.

Keela Freeley
Clonard, Co Wexford

• It has been reported that Willie Frazer may be visiting Dublin this week to ask the Taoiseach to lower our national flag. May I suggest that instead of a trip to Leinster House that Mr Frazer might take a walk down by the Liffey, where among the flags of the European Union there flies a large Union flag. Mr Frazer could gaze at his flag for the next six months of the European presidency instead of waiting for the 15 designated days outside Belfast City Hall.

Rory O'Callaghan
Kilmainham, Dublin 8

Irish Independent

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