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New president of Ireland should be non-political

A LOT of my life revolves around the acronym Kiss (Keep It Simple Stupid). Hence, I shudder with helplessness when I view some of the candidates for the office of president of Ireland.

Mary McAleese fulfiled her duties with great diplomacy, cementing an improved relationship between Britain and Ireland.

She will be a hard act to follow, so I had a look at a couple of those candidates hoping to replace her.

David Norris? Never heard of the man until his name cropped up in the media, where his political/social CV was scrutinised.

Martin McGuinness is a man I know more of. He has many admirable qualities. He is sincere in his desire for this island's unification (I find nothing wrong with that). However, what I do take exception to is the manner in which he went about trying to achieve this unification.

Those people who are crippled and maimed, particularly of his own faith, could hardly be expected to vote for Martin. He is still a committed supporter and representative of Sinn Fein/IRA. And he is proud of this association.

Sinn Fein has achieved the first stage of their policy for unification, where they have rejected bombing and shooting. They are now (thankfully) proceeding with the second stage of their policy - unification through the ballot box. My view is that the president of Ireland should be free from all political baggage. Hence, I say to Martin: stick to the politics.

The office of president of Ireland demands a person without political ambitions; rather one who will best serve the interests of Ireland.

HARRY STEPHENSON

Kircubbin, Co Down

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