Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Let's not tolerate intolerance

Letters to the editor should be sent to: 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB. E-mail: writeback@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

I was born and reared in the Irish Republic and I carry an Irish passport.

Over the years, many things have shocked me about the Republic, the latest being the intolerance shown by the Irish Rugby Football Union to those who share the island with us.

The ban on the British and Ulster anthems and the appropriate flag imposed by the IRFU has little support in the Republic.

When I explain that the importance of identity to unionists is as important as Irishness is to the Irish, no one disagrees.

The question is the mindset which allows such a dreadful decision to be made in the first place.

There is no doubt that an underlying feeling of anti-Britishness invades all aspects of life in the Irish Republic.

This allows unthinking and clearly distressing actions to be taken against the British, forgetting that hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Ireland consider themselves British.

To make matters worse, it is these very people that we want to invite into a united Ireland.

We are going to have to think out our position and change. The heavy boot will not work.

It was the Romans who thought that to break a people you had to break their identity and culture by force.

But this is 2007 and for authorities in Dublin to ban the British identity of many in Ulster is crass in the extreme.

I am surprised that Sinn Fein, or the attitudes they adopt, have found their way into the IRFU.

Unless we change and become accepting of difference, we will pay a heavy price for such actions as the ban on Britishness.



Angry Man, Cavan

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