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Mayor should have kept the Queen's portrait

If Belfast's Lord Mayor, Niall O'Donnghaile truly desires to be inclusive in how he decorates the mayor's parlour, how about retaining the Queen's portrait alongside the United Irishmen portrait? (News, June 10).

Belfast is not wholly republican, nor wholly unionist so, to my mind, the first citizen of the city should represent all citizens of that city. And, since Belfast is our capital, he/she then represents all citizens of Northern Ireland.

He would certainly gain respect if he showed acceptance of both major traditions in this symbolic way. Doing so would not dilute his personal political conviction.

The Royal family and the Union is as much an integral part of the history, life and people here as the republican struggle for self-determination.

The United Irishmen represent an important chapter in Irish history, but Sinn Fein is being quite arrogant to seemingly adopt them as their predecessors.

The Queen and President Mary McAleese recently showed this entire island the way forward.

Sinn Fein was very foolish to have shunned the opportunity to progress, as they always tell everyone else they must. And Mr O'Donnghaile really should attend the Cenotaph in November and lay a wreath to all those Irishmen who lost their lives fighting for a greater good.

Mr O'Donnghaile: have the courage of your convictions and let's see if Sinn Fein can grow up and begin really moving forward.

MARTYN BOYD

Bangor, Co Down

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