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Letters: Support Praxis Care at Hillsborough protest

By Our Readers

I write regarding the unfortunate saga developing at Hillsborough Castle regarding the proposed eviction of mental health charity Praxis Care.

The charity's goals are empowering adults and children affected by mental ill-health, learning disability, or acquired brain injury, to enjoy everyday living.

The charity makes no profit from the Secret Garden project, with income being reinvested in the improvement of facilities at the Hillsborough Castle site.

What the NIO and Royal Historic Palaces are asking, essentially, is for Praxis to walk away from nine years' hard work, during which they have turned a disused shed into a thriving business.

We see no reason why Royal Historic Palaces and Praxis cannot co-exist and indeed, thrive together at Hillsborough. Indeed, given the Royal Family's backing for similar projects, through organisations like the Prince's Trust and various community-based initiatives on their other estates, I would urge them to intervene.

So far, we have gathered more than 1,600 signatures opposing the eviction, which gives some indication as to the strength of feeling locally on the issue.

Therefore, we have felt it necessary to take more direct action and have arranged a protest at Hillsborough Castle today, beginning at 11am. Following the protest, we plan to hand over the petition to the Secretary of State. We would be grateful if your readers could come and show their support.

NEIL McNICKLE

Stop the Praxis Eviction Campaign

Ukraine events hark back to era of the Cold War

THE events in Ukraine have their origin in the final days of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact.

Then, the Americans gave a promise to Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, that Nato would not expand east to Russia's borders. This promise was not honoured and Nato drew in 12 former Soviet and Warsaw pact countries.

Further, America carried on the Star Wars programme, which the Russians always felt was directed at them. In effect, the West carried on the Cold War against Russia, and America financed and backed the 2004 Orange revolution to secure an anti-Russia, pro-Nato government in Ukraine.

The Crimea belonged to Russia until 1954 and 60% of its population is Russian.

What Russia has done may be illegal in international law, but as yet, not a single Ukrainian soldier, or civilian, has died.

MARK HOLT

By email

Finucane case more extreme than Lawrence

FOLLOWING a review into events after the killing of Stephen Lawrence in 1993, there is to be a further, judge-led public inquiry.

Imagine that two members of the gang which killed Stephen were paid agents of the state, a third member was recruited as a paid agent after the killing, police officers incited members of the gang to kill Stephen and another paid agent handed over the weapon to the gang. Imagine the government refused a request for a full public inquiry into this.

This happened in the case of the murder of Pat Finucane. Yet David Cameron is the latest PM to refuse a public inquiry.

TOMAS MAOILSEACHLAINN

Lettermacaward, Co Donegal

US hypocritical in response to Putin

THERE was a time when the United States would support the undemocratic removal of democratically elected heads of state in its own backyard.

Now it does so in Russia's backyard – and has the audacity to be outraged when Russia responds.

PETER McKENNA

By email

Wrong to focus on bare breasts

YOUR focus on a woman's breasts in the coverage of the Ms Alternative Ulster event at Stormont is pure sensationalism (News, March 10).

You have utterly trivialised a very serious and successful event, which focused on a wide range of feminist issues.

I saw Cara Park numerous times during the evening and never noticed anything 'indecent' until I saw your salacious picture.

NICK ROGERS

Belfast

History of trials not a good one

YOUR correspondent 'Law abider' (Write Back, March 8) asks: 'If Sinn Fein really believed that John Downey was totally innocent, why did they not let the trial run its course and, once he was legally proved innocent, he could have sued for wrongful arrest and unfair detention?'

Let me see where to begin. How about the Maguire Seven, the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, Judith Ward and Guiseppe Conlon for a start?

More, if you wish, from both sides of the Irish Sea.

TOM COOPER

Dublin

Alternate view of Miss Ulster...

YOUR report of the Alternative Ms Ulster event at Stormont bears little relation to the one l attended with my husband and daughter, which was light-hearted, respectable enough, but not pompous; full of friendship and showing acceptance of all kinds of women.

GRAINNE TOBIN

By email

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