Wednesday 21 August 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'We must challenge extremists on both sides in the North'

Fr Martin Magill made a powerful call to politicians at the funeral of murder victim Lyra McKee,
Fr Martin Magill made a powerful call to politicians at the funeral of murder victim Lyra McKee,

Letters to the Editor:

AS A person who lives and has lived near the Border with Northern Ireland, I can remember the heydays when there were checkpoints, long delays and constant checks by police and soldiers on both sides.

After the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA), those things began to suddenly disappear and people had hope.

Unfortunately, the GFA was only a sticking plaster on the festering wound that is Northern Ireland today.

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We foolishly allowed the extremes on both sides to enter the arena as the dominant parties, pushing the moderates aside and as a result we are left with a vacuum.

While there was a period and transition to a “Chuckle Brothers” discourse, there was still the underlying tribal hatreds that mar today’s talks and cause this ongoing stalemate.

We must not allow these extremists to take centre stage or we have failed the likes of Lyra McKee, Ciaran Cummings, David Black, Stephen Carroll, families of the Omagh bombing and many others killed or wounded since 1998. More than 258 people have died at the hands of paramilitaries since 1998.

We owe it to them and to their families to ensure political parties stay the course and get the assembly up and running again.

As Father Martin Magill said at the Mass of Ms McKee: “Why in God’s name does it take the death of a 29-year-old woman with her whole life in front of her to get to this point?”

Christy Galligan (Ret’d)

Letterkenny, Co Donegal


‘Cuckoo funds’ nesting here will help decide how I vote

THIS new so-called ‘cuckoo fund’ bedsit phenomenon as outlined by Claire Murphy in her article ‘Buyers locked out as ‘cuckoo funds’ snap up 2,800 apartments in capital’ (Irish Independent, April 29) is the main reason I won’t be voting Fine Gael in local, European or general elections.

Eileen O’Sullivan

Bray, Co Wicklow


Feargal Quinn will make paradise more heavenly

THE late Feargal Quinn will be remembered for the great services he gave to the people of the Republic during his time as a senator.

However, I will always recall that when I’d visit one of his shops in Dublin 6, he always greeted his customers with a smile and the staff seemed so happy to be working for him.

One could chat to other customers without having to compete with background music. I’m sure God will have put him in charge of his supermarket behind the pearly gates.

Tony Moriarty

Harold’s Cross, Dublin


Poets beat press for unbiased wisdom about Christianity

TOM SMITH (Letters, Irish Independent, April 30) is of the opinion that column inches on religious reporting in newspapers does not reflect the population of those who attend religious services regularly.

My advice to Tom is to “seek and you shall find”; a good place to start is with the lives and works of WB Yeats, his contemporary AE (George Russell), Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney. What these poets have to offer on Christianity is invaluable and – better still – unbiased.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia


Sturgeon should demand Scotland becomes a republic

I APPLAUD SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a new currency in a future independent Scotland. However, to be truly independent, she and the SNP should make it party policy for a free Scotland to be a republic, too.

The Republic of Ireland has a democratically elected head of state, so why not in Edinburgh? Since the unelected 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth’s reign, commencing February 6, 1952, Ireland has had eight freely elected men and women as president.

Although I voted for Brexit, Scotland deserves a second independence referendum as that nation voted to remain in the EU as did Northern Ireland.

It’s absurd in the 21st century that Britain – in reality, suppressed and governed by England’s elite – has a hereditary head of state and a bizarre House of Lords as its second chamber.

A nation like that, also failing to deliver Brexit, can hardly criticise other failed democracies or dictatorships.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London, UK


Time for Sinn Féin to drop

its campaign ‘fighting’ talk

HERE in my neck of the woods, Sinn Féin posters up the poles for local and European elections carry their message ‘Fighting for you’.

Thanks but no thanks – there has been enough fighting, and while arms may have been decommissioned by their comrades of recent times, perhaps it’s time for Sinn Féin to decommission the warlike lingo as well.

Robert Sullivan

Bantry, Co Cork

Irish Independent

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