Letters: Voters should remember all the benefits of EU
On May 9 we celebrated Europe Day, a day which 64 years ago marked the foundation of what is now the European Union. Not many people noticed.
Unfortunately, they also didn't notice the safeguards they enjoy at work – which are down to the efforts of the European Union – nor the holiday and rest entitlements they get from being members of the group.
Those in hospital may not notice the care they are getting from professionals able to work in the UK because of free movement of individuals across the 28-nation organisation, nor appreciate how millions of Britons are able to settle in other parts of Europe and enjoy all the health and social security benefits of other citizens in those countries because of this rule.
They possibly won't see the benefits for the environment that come from our membership of the EU, nor the wealth that has accrued in our country because of our membership of the world's largest trading bloc.
Just over half-a-century ago our continent was torn by strife. In contrast, our continent today is a beacon of hope for those around the world in terms of promoting peace and protecting human rights.
I would urge all your readers to recognise the positive benefits membership of the EU has delivered and to remember these benefits when they cast their vote in the European elections on Thursday.
Have your say on secret animal experiments
For more than a century information on animal experiments has been kept secret. However, this could be about to change as the Government is reviewing the animal experiment 'secrecy clause' and has asked for your opinion.
This secrecy clause is Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act. It enables animal experiments to happen in secret and makes revealing information about them a criminal offence – even with a researcher's consent.
Section 24 stifles public debate about animal experiments and suppresses scientific and ethical scrutiny.
The National Anti-Vivisection Society is leading the call to repeal the secrecy clause and prevent needless animal suffering.
More than four million animals are currently experimented on each year in the UK, but it doesn't have to be this way.
Please help us ensure that no experiment is duplicated and modern non-animal methods are always considered before experiments on animals take place, supporting better science.
Please take part in the Government's public consultation on animal experiment secrecy before June 13. Visit navs.org.uk for details. It will take just 10 minutes of your time.
National Anti-Vivisection Society
Stormont old guard ought to step aside
I Watched the Nolan Show last week with an ever-increasing feeling of despair. The same old point-scoring was much in evidence: the Sinn Fein panellist castigated the First Minister for failing to show leadership by condemning certain paramilitaries.
A snapshot of Stormont saw Gregory Campbell responding to the Deputy First Minister's condemnation of racial violence by referring to Mr McGuinness's IRA past.
Apart from Naomi Long, the only people to emerge with any credit were two young people in the audience. Perhaps therein lies the answer.
Now is the time for the old guard to step aside and allow young, fresh and untainted candidates to emerge.
Seaforde, Co Down
After OTR lies we need a new deal
The revelation by Lord Trimble that he was not informed by Tony Blair (when he was drawing up the Good Friday Agreement) regarding the deal on OTRs is an utter insult to him and, more so, to the electorate of Northern Ireland.
If goods bought in a store in good faith as perfect were later found to have been deliberately sold knowing them to be faulty, that store would be prosecuted.
However, knowing that Blair will not be held to account, the First Minister should demand on behalf of the electorate that a new agreement be drawn up and a clause inserted regarding OTRs and any other underhand deals.
It would mean terminating the present Assembly (rest assured, the public will shed no tears over that). I wonder if Senator George Mitchell was aware of this secret deal made between Sinn Fein and Blair? I would hope not.
Carryduff, Co Down
Marie Curie's collection thanks
MARIE Curie Great Daffodil Appeal: Camlough (Mar 1) £1,168.97; Bessbrook (Mar 1) £491.11; Warrenpoint (Mar 1) £567.99; Ballynahinch (Mar 6) £1,294.70; Dungannon (Mar 6) £1,807.62; Hillsborough (Mar 7) £600.14; Dromore (Mar 8) £1127.12; Newry (Mar 8) £2,378.35; Ballygawley (Mar 8) £582.61; Newcastle (Mar 8) £1,871.04; Portadown (Mar 14) £2,477.23; Markethill (Mar 14) £1,378.57; Kilkeel (Mar 22) £2,088.82; Tandragee (Mar 28) £795.38; Keady (Mar 28) £593.79; Moira (Mar 28) £1,203.46; Rostrevor (Mar 28) £634.66; Banbridge (Mar 29) £2,992.05; Rathfriland (Mar 29) £852.87; Coalisland (Mar 29) £1,361.31; Downpatrick (Mar 29) £1,329.11; Lisburn (April 8) £2,256.04.