Letters to the Editor: 'Republic needs to compromise if it wants a United Ireland'
Martina Devlin (Irish Independent, May 11) raises the prospect of a renewed conversation on Irish unity. I am not sure this is helpful so relatively soon after the end of a bloody campaign to bring this about by force ended. Whatever the unionist community thinks of Brexit, they are unlikely to be more favourably disposed towards unity while the wounds of that campaign are still raw.
While I do not believe unity will be a realistic proposition in the short to medium term, I feel it would be no harm for people in this jurisdiction to give some thought as to the shape it might take.
What it is not likely to be, nor should it in my opinion, is a takeover of Northern Ireland by this State. It would, instead, be the creation of a brand new state incorporating the best of the two traditions on the island.
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Just as this State always insisted that any mooted settlement in Northern Ireland must have an Irish dimension, so too must any settlement for the whole island have a British dimension in keeping with the ethnicity and loyalties of what would be a sizeable proportion of the population.
Ms Devlin has correctly touched on the need for a new flag and anthem in this context. How would this be received here?
In Irish rugby we have always had a mini united Ireland in action. This has involved compromises on symbols which have not always been well received on this side of the Border. The IRFU has received abuse because of ‘Ireland’s Call’, the song which is played for the national team, representing the main strands of identity on both sides of the Border. This does not augur well for the preparedness of people in the ‘south’ to make the compromises which would be necessary before unity could even be contemplated.
I believe people in the Republic who want to start a conversation about unity should begin to think about these issues. The anthem of a united Ireland may not be ‘Ireland’s Call’, but it assuredly will not be ‘Amhrán na bhFiann’.
Sean O Donnell
Monkstown, Co Dublin
Broadband plan is driven by leisure over necessity
Many proponents of the National Broadband Plan compare it to the vision of rural electrification. While power to every home and business transformed Ireland, we clearly distinguish between the highest power needs, and those of homes and ordinary businesses.
The €3bn plan is not the equivalent of national power connectivity, it is the same as three-phase and heavy industrial power to every laneway, mountainside and boreen. 150Mbs-plus is required for high definition video streaming, but not for email, smart medical devices, office productivity or modern business, which can be accommodated through other media.
Ultimately, technology in this space has often been driven by leisure not necessity, and prioritising entertainment over health and education should cause all of us to pause.
Dr Tony O’Donnell CEng FIEI
Curragh, Co Kildare
Young people making their voices heard on climate action
As national director of Eco-Unesco, I am delighted and fully support Ireland becoming the second country in the world to declare a state of climate emergency. It is fantastic that the Government has taken the issue of climate change so seriously.
I believe this push towards an emergency state has been brought on by the action taken by young people in the past few months.
The Young Environmentalist Awards are held by Eco-Unesco in the Convention Centre, Dublin, on May 23. This is a showcase of over 100 projects from young people from all over the island taking environmental action. This year we are celebrating 20 years of the programme and in that time young people have voiced their concerns and taken action on key environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and over-consumption. The main message I have heard from the young people taking part is “We have no planet B”.
Burgh Quay, Dublin 2
Politicians don’t know what it’s like to be on the buses
In relation to the several negative comments by politicians on the Bus Connect proposals, please allow me to put two questions to your readers. First, when was the last time you saw a member of the Oireachtas using Dublin Bus? Second, did you ever see a member of the Oireachtas using Dublin Bus?
S O Braonain
Teach bPairc na Dothra, BAC 6w
Be sure not to mix up your ‘Thrones’ and car names
We read that babies are being called after characters in ‘Game Of Thrones’, including the name Yara. Imagine, though, being referred to as ‘one of the Toyota Yaras’...?
Beaumont, Dublin 9