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Constitutional lessons in the tale of two cities

Ultonian of Portadown made the following claim: "The big constitutional question has, relatively speaking, been sorted out. Most now accept nothing changes unless and until we want it to change." (Write Back, July 24).

This may be comforting to unionists in Portadown, but it gives little solace to Derry/Londonderry.

To quote examples of constitutional division: the Queen isn't welcome in the Catholic Bogside, but would be welcome in the Protestant Fountain. President McAleese would be a guest of honour in the Bogside, but would be shunned in the Fountain.

The Irish Tricolour is evident in the Bogside while the Union Flag is on display in the Fountain.

The National Anthem in Derry is Amhran na bhFiain, while in Londonderry the National Anthem is God Save the Queen.

One community travels on a British passport; the other on an Irish passport. The same holds for Belfast. So while the constitutional question may be sorted out in Portadown, it's a live issue in Derry/Londonderry and Belfast.

If a stable state is to be found in Northern Ireland/Ireland, the UK constitution needs to change.

Such a constitution expressed in the National Government of Ireland Act can be made as acceptable to the Protestants of Portadown as to the Catholics of Kerry. The nuts and bolts of doing this can be found in the novel The Way Ireland Ought to Be (available from Amazon).

DERRY/LONDONDERRY

Co Londonderry

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