Michael McDowell (Irish Independent, February 26) mistakenly assumes the Irish Free State or Saorstát Éireann is set in stone.
He readily admits Michael Collins’s original draft constitution of 1921-1922 incorporated an aspiration towards the “freedom to achieve freedom”, meaning that he fully intended to prolong the struggle to achieve a complete united Ireland.
Events of the Civil War led to a polarisation of political positions leading to a new Constitution by De Valera in 1937 formalising the Free State into an independent one and ultimately a republic in 1949.
But even that Constitution proclaimed the territory of Ireland to be 32 counties and only after the Good Friday Agreement referendum was that claim abandoned in favour of a majority consensus north and south to bring unity about. However, that will inevitably change within the next five years, hastened by Brexit, when a Border poll may very well usher in a United Ireland,
At that juncture, yet another constitution will inevitably be drafted, abandoning the Saorstát Éireann position of Ireland being just 26 counties in favour of the full 32, and recognising the position of the Protestant/Unionist minority within the whole.
I cannot see any divergence between this and the current aspiration towards a united Ireland espoused by Sinn Féin.
Historical events bring about seismic changes; history is a moveable feast.
Stillorgan, Co Dublin
Nobody wins an election with only 25pc of the vote
ON THE basis of Matt Wade’s letter declaring Sinn Féin won the election (‘Give alternative government the chance to tackle issues’, Irish Independent, February 26), then Hillary Clinton should be president of the USA.
It seems Matt thinks getting a quarter of the votes makes you the winner. More skewed thinking from supporters of the ‘pay for nothing’ political parties he advocates should be in government even though they don’t have a majority of TDs.
United States elections are moored 250 years in past
FOR a country proud of its place in the modern world, the USA has one of the oldest and most stupid political systems anywhere. Their system was designed for a situation and time-frame long since gone, which has led to the crazy idea of starting their campaigning 15 to 18 months ahead of the four-yearly election.
It may in 1776 have been acceptable to hold primary and caucus votes many months in advance, when communications were very difficult, but we now share data instantly.
Their whole political/diplomatic system is a complete shambles and is largely build around money, totally ignoring talent. How else can they explain how they got Bush Jr and Trump? Not to mention buying ambassadorships.
As I write, I note Michael Blomberg has already spent $400m (€364m) of his own money trying to become president!
Government must turn on information tap to stop virus
GIVEN that one significant transmission pathway for Covid-19 is via the hands, I find it disturbing the Government-in-limbo is not saturating TV and radio with adverts emphasising the importance of hand hygiene and how to wash your hands properly; similarly, there should be big adverts on all the billboards about this.
All of this is very worrying as my experience of hand-washing in public toilets shows a frightening amount of the (male) population follows a routine of a cursory dribble of water (no soap) over their fingertips, and many don’t even do that.
If we want to make sure Covid-19 spreads as slowly as possible once it inevitably arrives, the Government needs to ram hand hygiene, through thorough washing of hands and regular use of sanitising hand-gels, right down people’s throats.
Dr Alun J Carr
UCD Belfield, Dublin
Coveney's Brit-bashing a risk to trade and the economy
SIMON COVENEY’S remarks on the new round of Brexit negotiations yesterday should be a cause of considerable worry for the people of Ireland. Clearly nothing has been learned from the first round of negotiations which ended up with a UK government totally committed to leaving with or without a trade agreement.
A further round of Brit-bashing accompanied by bluster about the Border will be music to the ears of Sinn Féin. Meanwhile the prospects for Ireland, its people and economy become increasingly imperilled.