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Adams' flippant comment comparing treatment of blacks in US to Catholics here totally inappropriate

Everybody has complaints - Catholics and Protestants. There is always something you can complain about. But to try and make Northern Ireland Catholics look like black people in the United States (News, May 3) is completely absurd.

I'm absolutely horrified at Gerry Adams' comments. It's an insult to black people.

If black people were treated in the United States the way Catholics were treated in Northern Ireland, black people would think they'd won the Lottery.

Black people had to walk on the other side of the street; they had to move to the back of the bus.

If the bus pulled up to a bus-stop and there were whites standing there and the bus was full, they threw the black people off the bus.

When I came to the United States they were hanging black people from lampposts and trees in the centres of cities and towns on a regular basis. Black people had no voting rights.

I don't ever believe, when I lived in Northern Ireland, that any of that happened to Catholics.

The problem with Gerry Adams (and the same with the Rev Ian Paisley) was that neither of them understood what happened in the United States.

The people of Northern Ireland have no idea - even today - what happens in the United States, so they play this fear and race card.

Americans had no idea - absolutely no idea, then or today - what happens in Northern Ireland, so it was easy to come out with these outrageous statements to get people all amped up.

They used to say Catholics weren't allowed to work in Northern Ireland in post offices and the police. I knew and played golf with lots of Catholics who were in the police force. I worked with lots of Catholics who worked in the post office.

I don't see anybody in Northern Ireland commenting on, or referring to, what really happened to black people. And none of it happened to the Catholics of Northern Ireland - not even close.


DUP candidates offer the voters nothing

According to our current (and clearly desperate) First Minister, there is nothing scarier for unionists than a Sinn Fein First Minister (Comment, May 4).

Now, I accept that it would be a body blow to the DUP to have to walk behind Sinn Fein and I accept that it would be very difficult for Mrs Foster to play second fiddle to anyone (Jeffrey found that out). But, in the words of the Queen: "Really? Please."

The really scary thing is that Mrs Foster is openly accepting that, on the basis of her presidential style of campaigning, she realises that the quality of her candidates in each constituency just isn't there. In fact, there is nothing or no one to vote for.

Ultimately, the current crop of DUP candidates is pure voting fodder - lobby-fillers. They offer nothing to their constituents, they bring nothing to the Assembly and, as for the Executive, with the exception of a few former Ulster Unionists, the DUP Assembly group is pointless.

Taking a quick look at the record of the DUP in office is like looking for permanent snow on the proverbial ditch - there is nothing there.

Schools have not improved, our roads have not improved, our healthcare system has not improved. In fact, under DUP/Sinn Fein rule, nothing has improved.

So, why again should I go out and vote for Candidate Nobody or Candidate Useless? Is the only reason so that Arlene can remain in office? Come on, I need more than that; Northern Ireland deserves more than that.

Without it, Arlene, you and your party are not worth even a transfer.


Portadown, Co Armagh

We need clarity over flying of Union flags

Doug Beattie's publicised removal of tattered Union flags in Craigavon and his impassioned piece in the Belfast Telegraph (Comment, April 27), noting that the true meaning of the Union flag is not as some territorial marker, need greater clarification.

Is Doug Beattie suggesting that he has no time for the aggressive and intimidating flagging of lamp-posts, two and three deep, throughout the Upper Bann area in the coming months? Or is it just the ragged ones that offend him?

Mike Nesbitt accused the DUP of "dog whistle politics" (Comment, May 2). We know where the DUP stand on this issue. But is the UUP up for change? Or is it still answering the call of the Orange and loyalist dog whistle when it comes to blanket flagging of areas?

Is Doug Beattie prepared to put his head above the parapet and condemn aggressive flagging?

Or would he rather stick knitting needles in his eyes than have the courage to address the issue head-on?


By email

Stroke Association deserves backing

I am one of 35,000 people in Northern Ireland who has experienced stroke. Two years ago, as I was getting ready for the Ireland v South Africa rugby match in Dublin, I had a transient ischaemic attack, or mini-stroke.

With the right care and support, stroke doesn't have to change your life and I was back playing for Ulster just five months after my attack.

I'm backing the Stroke Association's Make May Purple campaign and I'd like to encourage your readers to join me.

Whatever you choose to do - whether it's holding a bake sale, wearing purple for the day or signing up for an event - it's easy to get involved and a great way to show your support for stroke survivors.

Please sign up for an action pack at, or contact the Stroke Association Northern Ireland by calling 028 9050 8021, or emailing


Ulster Rugby player

Leicester story a sporting miracle

It is the sporting team story of the millennium. No team has ever done what Leicester City have done in history. Claudio Ranieri should be knighted.

The challenge now for Leicester is to get a group together to play in Europe and the Premier League which can withstand the 50-60 games they might compete in from September to May.

Is it possible that the Foxes can become one of the great clubs in Europe? Only if Claudio's heart holds up, I think. The club need to be calm and collected about what it actually wishes for.

They have gone from boiled lollies to Ferrero Rocher - and that can be a hard act to follow.

I wish them all the very best.


By email

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