Friday 19 July 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Irresponsible hypocrisy of Donaldson and Co around Brexit should be challenged head on'

Blaming us: Nigel Dodds, Arlene Foster and Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP. Photo: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo
Blaming us: Nigel Dodds, Arlene Foster and Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP. Photo: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The failure to challenge Northern Irish politicians like Jeffrey Donaldson on the basic issues involved in Brexit is a major fault in the debate.

Donaldson blaming the Irish for the consequences of Brexit just replicates what much of the London media goes on with daily and is so much hypocrisy.

The EU is the most advanced effort at international co-operation in the world.

It is an attempt by European democracies, many of them former colonies, to ensure that there is no return to the divisions of the past. Brexiteers have torn up this agreement.

They have also have torn up the Belfast Agreement signed with this former colony to draw a line under centuries of colonial rule.

In terms of European co-operation and Irish co-operation, Brexit is indefensible.

Every day much of the London media blame the Irish for that and Donaldson is just repeating that.

Trying to keep the advantages of membership while at the same time declaring economic war on the rest of the EU, as the UK is doing, is irresponsible in a continent with such a violent past.

Making a scapegoat of the Irish for the more extreme consequences of Brexit, as the London media and Donaldson have done, is blatant hypocrisy.

That irresponsible hypocrisy should be challenged.

A Leavy
Sutton, Dublin 13

Give our fishermen guns to defend themselves

In the last number of days, the Scottish government has threatened Irish fishermen that their vessels will be boarded and impounded if they continue to fish off Rockall, in waters they claim as theirs but which Ireland and other nations contest.

If this happens, it would be viewed as an act of pirate aggression and an act of war by the Scots/UK against the Republic of Ireland.

We should encourage our fishermen to repel anyone who tries to board and take over their ships by all means at their disposal, and our Government should arm our fishermen with guns to defend themselves and their fishing fleet.

The Government should also send gun boats from the Irish Naval Service to defend Irish interests in dispute and also request the navies from other EU nations to come to our aid, and ask the UN to condemn Scottish/UK actions.

The Irish Government should stop acting like cowards and stand up to the bullies who threaten us with gun-boat diplomacy. We should enquire of the London government if Scotland is acting on its own or if London is on the side of its northern neighbour – on the side of wrongful aggression against the smaller, weaker nation of Ireland.

Martin Ford
Co Sligo

The boundless part keeps me dancing in the dark

His stories are the ones at the edges, of the people in between. The ones found in the wide open, ceaseless spaces of the heart. The papers say this could be his last, but one of his was your first.

“Listen to this,” your dad said. And you knew enough to know you knew too little to argue. Seeing now what you couldn’t then, that he was passing on to you something of himself – a bit of Bruce Springsteen.

So this morning you’ll line up outside the record shop like it’s the 1980s. With someone who did just that in the ’80s.

Because what this singer has given you is what you hope endures in everyone, however life falls, that boundless part, just a kid, forever dancing in the dark.

Cate Ryan
Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Our system is biased against rights of fathers

The rights of fathers is one of the great inequalities in modern Irish society.

Separated fathers who dearly love to be with their children may be prevented the access given to them through the courts by mothers who effectively give a father whatever access she wants him to have with little or no sanction ordered.

Fathers face an uphill battle to obtain an order in their favour for custody of their children. Social welfare payments of child benefit are gender biased and our Constitution doesn’t recognise the father’s role as ‘homemaker’.

Perceptions of fatherhood are changing, but our family laws desperately need to be updated to create a justice system that responds effectively and that isn’t based on gender.

The voices of children need to be heard in matters that are central to their lives, so that we don’t have access orders severely limiting the role of one parent from participating in the day-to-day care of their children where breaches are not punished.

Our family courts should be open to the public to facilitate insight into the workings of courts and would lead to the eventual removal of uncertainty for judges, practitioners and litigants.

Ireland now needs to move to a proactive approach addressing inequalities in our current system and laws to reflect the reality of a modern, forward-thinking society which desires equality and demonstrates true acceptance of the value of fathers.

John Geraghty
Greystones, Co Wicklow

For all his naked ambition, emperor has no clothes

The call by supporters of Boris Johnson for lower-placed candidates in the Tory leadership race to drop out reeks of desperation (‘Johnson camp urges ‘vanity candidates’ to quit contest’, Irish Independent, June 14).

What are they afraid of? His supporters have managed to keep him away from the TV cameras for the most part. The launch of his campaign only allowed six questions from journalists afterwards!

Perhaps he has learned from Theresa May’s election campaign two years ago which had a nearly two-month lead in. Over the course of the campaign, May’s standing in the polls gradually decreased. In the election, she lost her Commons majority.

However, in the case of Johnson it wouldn’t take anywhere near two months for the British public to finally wake up and realise the emperor has no clothes.

Tommy Roddy
Salthill, Galway

Johnson and his pals are like the four horsemen

Unless some divine interference prevents it, Boris Johnson will become leader of the Tories and thereby prime minister of the UK.

Will we witness the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Johnson will complete a quartet of dangerous leaders who think they know more than anyone else, and are so full of guile they ultimately fool themselves, which is where the danger lies – the others being Trump (USA), Netanyahu (Israel), and Morrison (Australia).

Trump and Morrison play to those who believe the Rapture is at hand, which is the reason they want to relocate their nations’ embassies to Jerusalem.

With Bibi itching to start a war with Iran, I would imagine even God is trembling in his boots!

Declan Foley
Berwick, Australia

Neighbouring politics will leave a bad taste

It looks like by the end of July we are going to be the “Irish Stew” between Trump and Johnson. Please tell me how comfortable that is going to be.

Damien Carroll
Dublin 24

Irony of Jackson move seems to be lost on Diageo

Lovely to see Guinness’s parent company taking the moral high ground on the signing of Paddy Jackson by London Irish  – a company whose raison d’etre is to maximise its customers’ consumption of stout. Might overindulgence in the latter activity not, on occasion, lead to disinhibited sexual activity, not to mention episodes of man urinating on his fellow man – the latter activity, in an Irish context, of course, being perfectly acceptable as by-product elimination strategy, and definitely not contravening any of the Ten Commandments.

Sean Seartan
Shanakiel, Cork City

Irish Independent

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