Tuesday 16 July 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Brexit poses grave threat to rights of Irish citizens now living in the North'

Driving force: Traffic crosses the Border into Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic at Co Armagh. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Driving force: Traffic crosses the Border into Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic at Co Armagh. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

I was born in Manchester (England), my parents were both Irish, economic migrants from Ireland in the 1950s, and I have held an Irish passport all my life.

My parents returned to Ireland in the sixties and I lived in Ireland until 10 years ago when I moved to Derry. I work in Ireland/EU and pay my taxes and social insurance contributions there.

My wife was born in Derry. She and all her family are Irish passport holders. She works in Ireland/EU and pays her taxes and social insurance contributions there.

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Our son was born in Dublin, and now lives in Derry with us and holds an Irish passport.

He goes to secondary school in Derry.

In the wake of an agreed Brexit deal between the EU and the UK based on the current Withdrawal Agreement, or a Brexit without a deal, ie 'crash out', will we retain the full protection as Irish/EU citizens but living in Derry of our national identity, cultural, social, educational, welfare, political, human, economic and legal rights under Irish and EU law as we do now?

If our rights as EU citizens are diminished or restricted, will we still as Irish and EU citizens have recourse to European institutions to vindicate and enforce our rights as they are today, or as may be developed by the EU in the future?

The denial of rights highlighted by the civil rights campaign of the 1960s was the flame that lit the Troubles. We cannot let such a denial of rights happen again.

Please help us protect our rights and the Good Friday Agreement before it is hollowed out.

This issue is bigger and more fundamental than the prospect of a hard Border for commerce.

Thomas Cullen

Limavady Road, Derry


Did Taoiseach see how to cope on a slippery slope?

Did Leo go to Davos to learn how to ski over a hard border?

John Williams

Clonmel, Co Tipperary


Don't blame Trump, we're no better on emissions

I went to court for the first time in my life on Friday. I heard the State explain why it believes its current climate plan is fine, even though it does nothing to clearly decrease emissions, in order to prevent extreme suffering of our next generations. The UK has managed this, why can't we?

The State argued that Ireland should not have to act unilaterally. That sounded to me like the State thinks nothing of our Paris Agreement, signed with countries all over the world, including those with little or no resources. That's on a par with tearing up the Paris Agreement, like Trump has done. And then the State argued that the court could not be held to a science-based standard. I wonder what alternative it has in mind: a Trump-Healy-Rae standard, perhaps?

The legal arguments are made, and we await judgment. But a clarification is now already overdue, from the Taoiseach. We have no time to wait, not even for the judgment. Taoiseach, act now.

Denis Shields

Dublin 16


Backstop needs softening before we pay the price

It is a pity Angela Merkel did not say "the easier the relationship, the better for all of us" (Irish Independent, Editorial, January 25) before Brussels bureaucrats were allowed use a unique Irish land Border as a battering ram to subdue the 'beastly' British for the temerity of thinking they should be allowed to manage their own affairs.

Now that it is beginning to dawn on rather inept EU negotiators that the battering-ram approach may not achieve the desired result, a more conciliatory tone is emanating from those who have most to lose if Britain departs the EU without agreement. Merkel, who knows one in every seven German-made cars drives on British roads and that Britain operates a €70bn trade deficit with the EU, is following up the "love letter" sent to the British people by her successor in waiting, expressing how greatly they will be missed if they leave in disarray.

Within months, if not weeks or even days, of a non-agreement departure, Merkel will ensure that agreement is in place to allow trade with Britain to resume as if there never was serious disagreement at all. The role Ireland played and the serious consequences for this country could be easily forgotten by the bigger players; apart from possibly using a by-then embarrassing "back-stop" irritant as a spur for mother EU to quickly dismantle any corporate tax advantage Ireland might hold.

The Irish Government might be well advised to come forward immediately with greatly softened "backstop" proposals which could secure the softest Border possible; to be operated more in the breach than the application, provided serious abuse of border regulations was avoided. Such an approach might rescue Ireland from a very difficult situation and reconstitute this country as a friendly link between prosperity in both the UK and the EU.

Padraic Neary

Tubbercurry, Co Sligo


Ominous words sent by Griffith from his jail cell

Arthur Griffith disapproved of the action at Soloheadbeg and thought it outlaw action, writing ominously to fellow members of Dáil Éireann from Gloucester Jail on January 23, 1919, "if this sort of thing goes on we will end up by shooting one another.

"What has been done and what the Dáil is doing is splendid. Keep the country disciplined and dignified.

"Let it not be provoked by the Castle gang. They have no policy and when their provocation tactics fail they will fail… While the release of the prisoners should be kept up, let it occupy a subsidiarity place to the Peace Conference. Concentrate on that… It would not be advisable to go into details about an Irish Constitution at present, just keep the straight question of Irish Independence first. The first thing first."

Anthony J Jordan

Sandymount, Dublin 4


Comforting rustle of the papers means all is well

With so many people reading newspapers online these days, it was comforting to hear the rustle of the 'printed matter', as Marian Finucane and her guests went through the stories of the week on the radio, Sunday last.

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

Irish Independent

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