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Democracy in the West owes a lot to Ulster

The astonishing wave of popular protest sweeping through the Middle East and north Africa has been attributed to the increasing availability of Facebook and Twitter, through which ordinary people have been able to aspire to some of the basic human rights inherent in Western democracy.

President Barack Obama's recent statement clarifying his government's policy and his personal aspirations in regard to this situation left no doubt about the fundamental outcome hoped for: democracy for the whole region.

This month's visits by the Queen and President Obama to the Republic provide an opportunity to remind the world that the United States, as the bastion of Western democracy, owes that status in great measure to emigrants from this province who bequeathed their democratic principles to the new nation in the 18th century.

We are all used to hearing Greece referred to as 'the cradle of democracy'. How about Ulster being 'the cradle of modern Western democracy'?

T A EDGAR

Castlewellan, Co Down

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