Sunday 26 May 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Ireland needs to lobby its US friends to save the Good Friday Agreement'

Theresa May: UK Prime Minister could benefit from the Irish Government lobbying Washington politicians. Photo: PA Wire
Theresa May: UK Prime Minister could benefit from the Irish Government lobbying Washington politicians. Photo: PA Wire


Your editorial (January 7) rightly deplores the apparent lack of realism of many British MPs about the choices facing them over Britain's impending departure from the EU.

However, this lack of realism equally extends to your own paper in that you completely ignore the American dimension.

US President Donald Trump wants a no-deal Brexit and is actively lobbying in Britain to achieve this in close coordination with Tory Brexiteers.

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According to Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation ('Daily Telegraph', January 7), he has bipartisan support in the US Senate for this.

Gardiner writes: "A no-deal Brexit would be far better for the US than Theresa May's weak-kneed proposal and infinitely better than Brexit being derailed."

The Good Friday Agreement was, among other things, a significant triumph for American diplomacy - enjoying strong bipartisan support in the US Congress.

If the Irish Government wants to safeguard it via the Northern Ireland backstop it is high time it began some lobbying of its own among Ireland's friends in Congress.

This might well be a more effective way of helping Mrs May than agonising over the wording of political declarations of comfort which both the DUP and Tory Brexiteers will inevitably reject regardless of their content.

A reversal of Brexit, while unlikely, is not as fanciful as your editorial suggests as nearly two million young people have been added to the UK electoral register since 2016. Most of these are probably Remainers and, unlike many older people, deeply anxious about their futures.

Ed Kelly

Merseyside, UK

Bishop Doran provides an antidote to scandal

Anthony O'Leary, while criticising Bishop Kevin Doran ('Church caused first breach in "communion"', Letters, January 7), in fact unintentionally triggers an exploration of how well a Catholic bishop such as Bishop Doran seeks to live up to his responsibilities in these times - he "and a few".

Due to the limitations of human nature it always possible to recount outrages committed by individual Catholics in the past. Equally due to the same limitations some untrue and unfair allegations occur.

All outrages committed by Catholics are scandals and serve as grist to the mill for Mr O'Leary's schema. But first and foremost they are contraventions of Catholic teaching or they amount to an ignorance of such teaching.

Given the certainty of temptation that Catholics undergo not to adhere to the Church's teachings, it is obligatory for a Catholic bishop, among other things, to remind and challenge the baptised to do good and avoid evil; to clarify categories of evil for the baptised; to outline the consequences of serious evil acts for both time and eternity; to preach the redemptive process provided by Christ's mercy through His Church to mitigate such consequences.

Each bishop has the duty to do this, openly or privately as appropriate, in season and out of season, irrespective of the number of the baptised who are listening.

This is the only means of stopping what Mr O'Leary, with some validity, terms the "Church's continuing slide into moral irrelevance for most of the population".

Bishop Doran's efforts at pursuing his ministry in this way reveals a concern for the welfare of all in time and eternity. His efforts provide an antidote to scandal given by individual Catholics, and strengthens the faith of Catholics seeking to be faithful to the teaching of their Church.

Neil Bray

Cappamore, Co Limerick

Irish Independent makes each day one to remember

Congrats to the Irish Independent on the decent free calendar.

Made my day(s)!

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, D9

Examinership was like 'a slow drowning'

Regarding your main business article ('Examinerships still unpopular despite efforts to cut red tape', Irish Independent, January 8), our family business was one of the first companies to avail of examinership in this country back in 1992.

It was a very distressing and expensive procedure, and in the end did not save the company.

As one solicitor friend of mine remarked to me on the quiet at the time: "Brian, in all honesty, this is what they call 'a slow drowning'."

Part of history now, thank God.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

There will be no escaping Border checks after Brexit

Nobody in the UK seems capable of cutting through the hubris with regards to Brexit. You cannot run with the hares and hunt with the hounds simultaneously.

If you have different customs and different standards in place between the European Union and the United Kingdom there will have to be checks, to protect the integrity of their respective customs and standards.

As for the movement of people, if there is no Border check between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland nor a border check between the island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain, what's to stop someone from coming from any part of the EU to the Republic, then on to Northern Ireland and then on to any part of the UK. And vice versa with UK citizens to the EU.

There will have to be checks either somewhere between the Republic and Northern Ireland or somewhere between the island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain. Otherwise why Brexit?

Ireland was divided against the wishes of the majority of the Irish people, resulting in a civil war in the Republic and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Is Ireland to be further divided by Brexit and at what cost to the Irish? And who will be responsible?

It is with much sadness I write the above.

When Anglo/Irish relations were at an all time high, along came Brexit. It may surprise many that on a pro rata population basis there is a higher percentage of UK-born citizens living in Ireland then Irish-born citizens living in the UK.

Joseph Mackey

Athlone, Co Westmeath

Irish Independent

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