Monday 25 March 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Why we can't trust Britain over any of its agreements'

'I am sure if it suits Britain the new prime minister will state that Mrs May should have sought parliamentary agreement before signing the backstop agreement.' Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville
'I am sure if it suits Britain the new prime minister will state that Mrs May should have sought parliamentary agreement before signing the backstop agreement.' Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Do not be surprised if Britain discards the recent agreements made with the Irish Government. It has a record of discarding agreements, some of which are set out as follows.

1. Ratification and Catholic Church support for the Act of Union was supposed to grant Catholics in Ireland emancipation. It did not happen for 25 years.

2. Parnell was promised Home Rule in 1874 for supporting the Liberal government.

3. John Redmond, in return for recruiting 150,000 Irishmen to fight in World War I, was promised Home Rule. Instead the UK government passed the act of 1920 establishing the Border.

4. In return for Arab support in defeating the German/Ottoman axis, the Arabs were promised Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine.

5. Before the war was over, Britain, in return for US help, gave Palestine as a homeland to the Jewish people on condition they did not interfere with the lives and welfare of the Palestinian people (the Balfour Declaration).

6. It gave Syria and Lebanon to the French (the Sykes-Picot Agreement).

7. At the war’s end, it refused to honour the binding agreement with Sharif Hussein, the temporal and spiritual leader of the Arab people, because the foreign secretary Arthur Balfour declared that black people including Arabs were incapable of governing.

8. Finally I am sure if it suits Britain the new prime minister will state that Mrs May should have sought parliamentary agreement before signing the backstop agreement.

Hugh Duffy

Cleggan, Co Galway

How a different bellow from Bercow could unlock Brexit

I THINK I see a solution to the current impasse in the British parliament regarding its failure to reach a decision on Brexit. 

Instead of the speaker, John Bercow, shouting ‘unlock’ after reading out the ayes and noes, he just keeps the shower locked in until they reach a conclusion.

Liam Power

Dundalk, Co Louth

Antics of MPs is a throwback to another British disaster

THE destructive antics of the 600 MPs at Westminster reminds me of the poem ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, written by Alfred Tennyson about the British cavalry charge into a guarded valley during the Crimean war. Due to very poor communication, half of the 600 cavalry were killed or wounded, with victory to the Russians. The following words are very prophetic: “Someone had blundered; Theirs not to make reply; Theirs not to reason why; Theirs but to do and die; Into the valley of death; Rode the six hundred.”

Aidan Hampson

Artane, Dublin 5

Help should be given to those who want to start a family

I REFER to your article “Irish birth rate still high but first-time mothers are among oldest in EU” (Irish Independent, March 13).

As stated in the article, some 2.1 births per woman is required to sustain population levels. Ireland’s level is 1.77. Over the past few years, my wife and I have been trying to start a family. We are in our 30s. We’re home owners and we both work. Unfortunately, we require assisted reproduction. As you can imagine this is a very costly process.

We’ve already paid €7,000 and have yet to get pregnant. As an Irish citizen, and one who pays our fair share of taxes (and bills), I find it perplexing that the Government does not provide funding to help start a family. (Upon contacting a TD, this will not occur until 2020.)

Should the Government wish to increase the birth rate, I believe helping those who are finding it difficult to start a family should be prioritised. After all, those who have children get benefits, but starting off we get no help, unlike our EU counterparts.

They could see it as an investment in their fiscal needs for the future.

Name and address with editor

More resources are urgently needed in fight against cancer

THE report by Health Correspondent Eilish O’Regan (“‘We’ve taken one step forward, two steps back’ in treating cancer patients within set timelines”, Irish Independent, March 13) said cancer patients are not getting diagnosed and treated as early as they should. This is a startling new development and a huge concern to many. Irish Cancer Society CEO Averil Power said in recent days that recommended timelines for patients are not being met, and inadequate resources are being directed towards the National Cancer Strategy to deliver care for growing numbers of people with the disease.

The last thing people diagnosed with this disease need is the added stress, fear, worry and anxiety that delayed diagnosis and access to life-saving treatments can bring, as this can be a major stumbling block to patients’ ongoing cancer care and recovery.

Let us hope more adequate resources will be made available as a priority.

Tom Towey

Co Sligo

Irish Independent

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