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Media's attitude over Irish border issue flawed

Barry White (News, February 28), in reminiscing about politics and the past, ignored the parochial negativism of the local media at the time.

The visit of Taoiseach Sean Lemass to meet Terence O'Neill at Stormont in 1965 was reported as though it were a parochial matter of north-south relations, with little reference to the wider Britannic islands - not unlike media comments on Ireland and an EU-imposed border following on from Brexit today, as though the EU border will only be of consequence to the two parts of Ireland.

At that earlier time, it was a free trade area between these islands that Lemass was looking for (the possible loss of which worries Dublin today) and which he eventually got, plus a subsidy from the UK to the Republic's cattle farmers - a precursor to later EU subsidies.

But for Northern Ireland journalists at the time it was not this (and the mental turnabout it involved, with all the promise for the future), but the antics and vulgarism of Ian Paisley that captivated - and were highlighted - and with that the endless journalistic speculation about how long O'Neill might last.

It has got a familiar ring with today.

W A MILLER

Belfast

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