Wednesday 16 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'DUP actions show it’s clearly willing to destroy Good Friday Agreement'

Democratic Unionist Party deputy leader Nigel Dodds. Photo: Getty Images
Democratic Unionist Party deputy leader Nigel Dodds. Photo: Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

As an Irish citizen who voted to remove Articles 2 and 3 from the Irish Constitution as required for the approval of the Good Friday Agreement, I feel a great sense of betrayal when I hear Brexiteers, especially DUP politicians, maintain that Brexit has no relevance to the agreement, when this is patently not the case.

In contesting their point of view, one has only to consider if the Irish people would have voted to remove the above articles from our Constitution had Ireland and the UK not been members of the EU in 1998 - the answer is most definitely no. And no Irish government would consider for a moment putting such a proposition to the people by way of referendum.

That being the case, does anybody seriously believe that the Unionist population of Northern Ireland would have voted for an agreement that did not deal with these articles? Again, the answer again is no.

The DUP, by the very fact it promoted Brexit, did untold damage to the Good Friday Agreement as the trust on which the agreement depended was destroyed.

Notwithstanding this, the DUP continues to advocate for a hard Brexit, despite the fact that all reasonable projections show that Northern Ireland would suffer greatly from any type of Brexit and in particular from a hard Brexit.

The DUP continuously criticises the Irish Government's approach to Brexit and maintains that the previous Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, would have been far more accommodating to its views.

However, it showed scant regard for Mr Kenny's generous invitation to join in some type of all-Ireland forum with a view to arriving at a common approach towards mitigating the problems created by Brexit.

When all of the above is taken into account, together with the DUP's refusal to agree to an Irish Language Act (and I am no Sinn Féin supporter) I can only conclude that the DUP, under its current leadership, would do whatever it takes to distance itself from anything 'Irish' - even if in so doing it destroys the Good Friday Agreement and all which that implies, and severely damages the livelihoods and quality of life of all of the people in this island.

John O'Sullivan

Co Kilkenny

Tories will betray Foster and Co too as need arises

A number of recent letters remind us that lessons from history show that the powers in London do what is in their interests regardless of the consequences for others. That is particularly true for those into whose affairs they forcibly intruded.

Remarkably, as Theresa May reneges and betrays in pursuit of her sole quests - retain power and prevent a Tory party split - Arlene Foster and the DUP consort with her, seemingly oblivious to such lessons. May and her party are not loyal to the DUP, they are loyal only to their present need of them. When that changes, so too will their loyalties.

Jim O'Sullivan,

Rathedmond, Co Sligo

Sinn Féin has obligation to stand up for Ireland

If ever proof was needed that the seven Sinn Féin MPs elected to Westminster should take their seats, it is there in the excellent letters of Hugh Duffy ('We have been warned about 'deceitful promises' and history repeating itself') and Michael McSweeney ('UK once again lives up to Perfidious Albion moniker', Letters, January 31). In regards to the taking of an oath, they can resolve this situation, morally, by saying, "I am taking this oath under duress".

As leopards don't change their spots, the 'Perfidious Albion' section in the Tory party keeps alive an abhorrence of anything that hints at a united Ireland.

All the more reason then why the seven should speak on behalf of Ireland. The people of the UK are fortunate to have the impartial John Bercow as Speaker, a man who truly represents the people. Sinn Féin, Ireland demands you take your legal and moral place.

Declan Foley,

Berwick, Australia

Government needs to help our nurses and midwives

Following the breakdown of talks at the Labour Court, minimal staffing is now in place in some of our busiest hospitals in the country - due to the intransigence of this Government.

As a result, nurses and midwives went on their first strike since 1999 and only their second in 100 years. With many of the 65,000 nurses on picket lines looking for better pay and conditions, it comes at the cost of the cancellation of surgeries and outpatient appointments. They will make sure the most vulnerable patients are taken care of. They are prepared to go again five more times if necessary and they have the support of the general public.

Irish nurses and midwives have emigrated in their droves across the globe, to where there is better pay and conditions and safety.

This Government needs to get their heads out of the sand and look after our nurses and midwives .

Noel Harrington,

Kinsale, Co Cork

Here's how we can butter up Brits for Brexit result

Our English neighbours may have invented the sandwich (the Earl of, and all that) but it is the Irish who are responsible for filling it.

This is where we have leverage in the Brexit negotiations.

Leo Varadkar should bang the table at Theresa May and threaten to leave the English sandwich cheddarless. Yes, folks, we supply Britain with 78,000 tonnes of the stuff annually.

So, forget the backstop agreement, Leo, and hit them with the threat of cheddarless sandwiches - they'll soon fold. The English may have invented the sandwich but it took the poetic Irish to fill it with delicious creamy Irish butter and tasty cheddar.

Do our neighbours wish to be left with dry bread after Brexit?

Billy O'Riordan,

Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Gatsby at The Gate truly lives up to the title Great

I am writing to highly commend The Gate's production of 'The Great Gatsby'. It is a wonderful experience of immersive theatre which brings you back to those hazy days of The Charleston.

The set is amazing and the costumes beautifully reflect the era. I wish too to laud the highly emotive acting. Well done to all on the magnificent glitzy Gatsby party! It is certainly an invitation I would not turn down.

Niall Moonan,

Begrath, Co Louth

Irish Independent

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