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Letters: Sinn Fein need to leave sinister threats in past

There was something buffoonish about Bobby Storey's boast on a platform in west Belfast with Martin McGuinness that, "they haven't gone away, you know".

It was at once sinister – in the sense that it was an attempt to be sinister – and yet it was also quite amusing, in that Storey sounded like a punch-drunk boxer trying to convince a crowd who once looked up to him that he was fit for another fight. Whether sinister, or amusing, he was restating one of the few quotes that Gerry Adams has given to the political sphere. John Hume used to be criticised for his 'single transferable speech', yet his words have been enshrined in the political process.

He will be remembered by the Irish people for ever, while Gerry Adams will be remembered for the threats he issued.

The threats can only be regarded as an empty promise from Sinn Fein leaders, in view of the toll their struggle exerted on the nationalist people.

In fact, during the Troubles, there were 15,000 republican prisoners serving 120,000 years in total in jail. That is a tremendously sad statistic.

There can never be a return to 'armed struggle', or 'the tactical use of human suffering', for the simple reason that it achieved nothing. Sinn Fein is not being rewarded by voters for their armed struggle, but for their movement away from it.

Like other parties, Sinn Fein is trapped in the political process. They need to forget about threats.

JOHN O'CONNELL

Derry

Ignore doubters and take a stand in the elections

I'd appeal to people across Northern Ireland to ignore the advice of some well-known commentators not to vote at the local and European elections tomorrow. Their counsel, on this occasion, is depressing and defeatist.

Voters are certainly tired of the parties at Stormont and the divisive brand of politics that they pursue. All of them are defined by being 'Orange, Green, or Something In Between'.

They carve-up ministries and committee positions, but they don't offer a coherent vision for the future.

And they refuse to take responsibility and make the really difficult decisions.

The only way that this will change is if voters send a clear message to these failed parties that enough is enough.

TREVOR RINGLAND

Co-chair, NI Conservatives

Holywood, Co Down

Hoarded cash of super-rich could help so many

Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen are just the latest examples of the super-rich doing everything they can to ever increase the millions of pounds in their bank accounts (DebateNI, May 15).

Why do multi-millionaires and billionaires feel the need to hoard these vast fortunes which are of no benefit to them? If I was sitting on millions, or billions, knowing how much suffering I personally could stop without even noticing the effect on my finances – and did nothing – I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. How can they?

CITIZEN

By email

Isn't it time Levy threw in towel?

With reference to the sacking of Tim Sherwood by Spurs (Sport, May 14)... is it not time for (chairman Daniel) Levy himself to go?

FAIR PLAY

By email

Voice of people has been heard

The world's largest democracy has just concluded a massive election. A population of 1.2 billion, with a massive diversity of faiths, languages, ideologies and cultures, successfully concluded this amazing feat. The Indian intellectuals in this country who expressed their reservations about the opposition party winning the election will surely acknowledge the voice of the people?

NITIN MEHTA

By email

Deaf Awareness Week can help

Deaf Awareness Week (May 19-25) is a chance for charities and organisations to join forces to raise awareness of hearing loss in an effort to generate greater understanding of the challenges faced by one in six people in the UK.

Thankfully, Hearing Link, a hearing loss charity that makes it easy to find information and support, is there for people in their time of need. There are large numbers of people who are affected by hearing loss. Getting involved and sharing in this way can help us all learn and benefit. It is done anonymously. Visit www.hearing link.org/deaf-awareness-week.

Hearing Link also has a helpdesk which can be contacted by emailing helpdesk@hearing link.org or by telephone 0300 111 1113 or by SMS to 07526 123255.

JAMES NEWELL

Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

'Loyalists' need a history lesson

Those so-called 'loyalists' who are attacking Polish people need to learn their history and stop the attacks.

The UK went to war with Hitler after he invaded Poland and subjected the Polish people to four years of hell.

The Free Polish Forces came to the UK and fought alongside us in every major campaign.

HISTORIAN

Lisburn, Co Antrim

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