Monday 14 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'UK’s special relationship with US trumps Ireland’s'

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Photo: PA
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Photo: PA
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Dr Aiden Hampson writes that the “powerful bi-partisan Irish bloc” in the US congress will block any US/UK trade deal if the Good Friday Agreement is put in jeopardy (‘Ghosts of the Great Famine could yet haunt Johnson,’ Letters, October 6).

However, history tells us the Americans and British will always back each other up.

Think of Churchill and Roosevelt. Thatcher and Reagan. Bush and Blair. Today we have Trump and Johnson.

President Woodrow Wilson ignored Sean T O’Kelly’s appeal for Irish independence at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

When JFK visited the 26 counties he declared the so-called ‘Northern problem’ was an internal British matter.

It has been alleged that CIA operatives were present as “observers” when the Hooded Men were being tortured.

Reagan is said to have joked with Thatcher that the hunger strikers could last without food “but not without drink”.

The (26 county) Irish think there is a “special relationship” between us and the Yanks.

But the big powerful countries will always support each other and the “special relationship” between the United States and United Kingdom will always take precedence over Irish/American ties.

Michael O’Flynn

Friars Walk, Co Cork

Prix de l’Arc finish proves a real Triomphe for France

Wow, that was the best Prix de l’Arc finish, to my mind anyway, since Sassafras beat Nijinsky in 1970.

Of course, there is a subliminal pleasure in watching the defeats of arrogant, though indisputably legendary horsemen, Lester Piggott (Mr Laconic, thanks be to God for Tracey), and the middle-aged equine-dismounter Frankie! Vive la France!

Sean Seartan

Shanakiel, Cork City

Dodds and DUP jeopardise GFA as they hold on to power

Nigel Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party referring to Leo Vardakar’s “intransigence” and “dismissal” of Boris Johnson’s proposals shows how utterly devoid of ideas the DUP is.

That they would seek to jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement so that they can hold onto power with the Conservatives, and claim ideological sovereignty over a small part of this island, is outrageous as it is cynical. That they dismiss the concerns of businesses in Northern Ireland is also outrageous.

Boris Johnson’s proposal on the backstop are not compatible with the GFA because:

a) It imposes a hard Border on Northern Ireland, which was contrary to what other UK governments proposed, and in the Withdrawal Act, it states that the UK won’t impose new customs regulation requirements on the Border.

b) It turns consent on its head. That there must be consent to continue membership of the single market and allow the DUP a veto, even as a minority party, over the majority of the people of Northern Ireland is again outrageous. It turns cross-community voting in Northern Ireland, as agreed under the GFA, on its head.

Under cross-community voting under the Good Friday Agreement, it allows for a vote for the proposition put before it, whereas Boris Johnson’s proposal effectively negates that.

His proposal is that there would have to be a cross-community vote on the “basis to continue to be in the single market”, with the DUP allowed a veto and stop it from happening.

The people of Northern Ireland have been abandoned by the DUP and Sinn Féin and have no one to voice their concerns in the UK Parliament or in Stormont.

Yet there are more than 49,000 applications by people in Northern Ireland seeking an Irish passport – up from the 48,000 that applied after the Brexit referendum.

I wonder how many of those were arch-Brexiteers and supporters of the DUP and Traditionalist Union Voice?

Christy Galligan

Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Any chance of visiting New York City on the cheap?

Your headline ‘NYC: An Irish Insider’s Guide’ caught my attention straight away and I found it interesting and informative – interesting places and restaurants and hideouts. It’s the kind of stuff you want to know when visiting New York from someone who lives there.

However, I was disappointed when it came to hotel suggestions. Almost all were over the €200 mark. Surely, there were somewhat cheaper options for the less well-heeled traveller?

Patrick McEvoy

Portlaoise, Co Laois

Irish Independent

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