Irish navy's mercy missions show us in a better light
Like others, I am exceptionally proud of the Irish navy and the heart-rending rescues carried out by Captain Donal Gallagher and the crew of LE Niamh in the Mediterranean.
That's my Ireland - an Ireland that leads the world on humanitarian issues and stands in stark contrast to the TV pictures of hate that all too often go around the world as if sectarianism and blind hatred was the order of the day here.
Yes, I know it happens in the north, but we live in a small country and on the international scene we are simply Ireland.
On this occasion, we have reason to be proud, because the true Ireland has made it on to the international stage for all the right reasons, reaching out to help those in distress.
Good news stories deserve to get reported and on this occasion the Irish navy has done us all proud.
That, in itself, must surely make at least a few of those still with the guns, booby traps, flags of hate and poisoned pens swap, even for a day, with the crew of LE Niamh.
JOHN DALLAT (SDLP)
MLA for East Londonderry