Saturday 19 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Learning history will help avoid mistakes of the past'

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Write to Letters to the Editor, Irish Independent, 27/32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, or email them to independent.letters@independent.ie Name and address must be supplied for verification. Lengthy contributions may be edited. (stock photo)
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

It is with great delight and relief that history has been made a mandatory subject on the Junior Cycle curriculum.

I feel it is fundamental for students to learn about both domestic and foreign history. It is vital our next generation understands our Decade of Commemoration.

One only has to look at the recent Brexit years, where facts have been dangerously altered to suit a political theory, to show

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how important historical primary sources are.

Boris Johnson’s fanciful remark that the Border between the North and south is just like “no border between Islington and Camden and Westminster” is one such example.

Patrick Kielty, with critical knowledge of the North, responded: “For over 30 years we killed each other because of our differences which means Northern Ireland is nothing like Camden or Westminster.”

History is vital for our future generations and will help them to respond to wrongs from the past.

Respect must be shown to the Education Minister for giving history special status.

James O’Reilly

Mount Merrion, Co Dublin

The very definition of our current situation

I was perusing my copy of ‘The Devil’s Dictionary’ when I came across the following definitions, which seemed very appropriate in the present circumstances.

:: Conservative: A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils;

:: Minister: His principal qualification is a degree of plausible inveracity next below that of an ambassador;

:: Boundary: in political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other;

:: Friendship: A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.

Liam Power

Blackrock, Dundalk, Co Louth

It is not too late to take action over Ryan’s past

I feel I have to write in response to the BBC’s ‘Spotlight on the Troubles’ programme in which former priest Pat Ryan spoke very chillingly of his murderous campaign with the IRA, in which he was responsible for the slaughter of innocents and so chillingly said that his only regret was that he didn’t slaughter more.

I find this person so utterly cold and calculating to the extreme depravity of a human being.

I abhor the fact that this person has not being extradited to face the full rigours of the law, despite his age.

It beholds our Government and Catholic Church to act immediately to obey the rule of law for humanity’s sake.

This evil person will some day meet his maker if he has a conscience.

I despair if no action is taken in regard to this evil person, in memory of all his victims and their families and loved ones left behind to pick up the pieces.

This person did not do this slaughter in my name. For evil to triumph, it only takes good men to do nothing.

Una Heaton

North Circular Road, Limerick

If people didn’t vote they can’t complain about the outcome

Kieran O’Regan (Letters, October 2) wrote that a second UK Brexit referendum should be held, with a minimum 51pc of the electorate voting to make it valid.

Unlike Australia, Britain does not have compulsory voting – if it did, the outcome might, possibly, have been different.

The 2016 referendum was free and transparent and the then prime minister, David Cameron, said it would be a straight in/out vote. Nothing difficult to understand there really.

People had more than a year’s advance notice of the vote.

Although I don’t mind a second plebiscite – voting out again – many folk were too lazy or ignorant to use their precious vote, so cannot complain now.

If millions of people chose not to vote, I have no sympathy with them.

The result was a clear majority of those who bothered to participate – more than 1.25 million. Had the Remainers won by the same margin I would have accepted the result.

The 2016 referendum should be a lesson to all those who couldn’t be bothered to vote, or accept the outcome, to do so – or keep quiet thereafter.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London UK

EU needs a plumber not a customs man on Border

Based on the quality of recent leaks from London about their alternatives to the backstop, the EU needs a plumber rather than Mr Barnier to respond.

Mary O’Sullivan

Sandymount, Dublin 4

Irish Independent

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