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Officers who helped drunk woman were brave

I was really amazed that the two police constables in Londonderry should be condemned by so many people.

The two constables in question were dealing with a very ugly situation.

They had a prisoner in their police car whom they had arrested; then they had to deal with a drunken woman, who tried her best to either get into the car, or get the arrested prisoner out of the car.

The drunken female saw that she was not in a position to do anything, so she lay down in the middle of the road, endangering herself and other road users.

She was the author of her own initial danger and was not in the least concerned about her safety.

However, when the two constables removed her from the middle of the road and so out of immediate danger, she made no effort to get up, or get onto the footpath, but later complained about where the police had left her.

She was not in the least concerned about her safety when she lay down in the middle of the road.

The two police officers should be commended for their efforts under very dangerous and difficult circumstances.

They had to deal with the hazard of traffic and had to take into consideration the ongoing terrorist threat to their lives.

The public should support these brave and courageous officers in what they do.


Ballynahinch, Co Down


College funding status has been misunderstood

I am writing in response to an article about the future of Immaculate Conception College in Derry (News, March 24).

I am disappointed that the Belfast Telegraph did not contact me in advance of publication to provide me with an opportunity to comment.

Instead, the article used comments from Pat Ramsey MLA, which appear to show a misunderstanding of the situation.

Immaculate Conception College has not lost any funding as a result of changes to the school funding formula. In fact, the school has received additional funds.

The reduction in its budget compared to the previous year has come about because the number of pupils enrolling at the school has fallen dramatically.

That is a result of parents choosing to send their children to other post-primary schools in Derry. That is completely outside of my control.

Furthermore, it is the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) – not my department – that employs the teachers at Immaculate Conception College.

It is CCMS, as managing authority of the Catholic-maintained schools estate, that has put forward the proposal to close the school. No decision has yet been made.

The consultation period on the proposal has ended. My officials are currently pulling together the relevant information, including statistics and analysis of demographics and other education provision in the area and any responses to the consultation, in order for me to then make the final decision on whether to agree the proposal to close the school.

Any decision I make on proposals of this kind is always based on the best educational interests of the children, rather than institutions.


Minister of Education


Jean McConville murder an evil, cowardly deed

No murder in the history of the Troubles can evoke more emotion than the murder of Jean McConville in 1972. That her body was also 'disappeared' in order that her family suffer more, is even more sickening.

That 10 children were left without a mother didn't seem to matter. Their father had already died and so they became orphans.

The murder of Jean McConville reveals a lot about egomaniacal cowards, consumed with a perceived power over those who had no guns.

Such are the origins of evil.




EU sanctions on Russia pointless

It is really exasperating to see the government pressing the EU to 'punish' Russia with economic sanctions.

There can only be three consequences: (i) everyone is worse off; (ii) nothing will change as regards Crimea; (iii) in a couple of years, we will all move on and the sanctions will be lifted – an exercise... to make the political leaders feel less impotent than they are.


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Leaders should seize the day

I wonder how historians will view Paisley/Adams and Robinson/McGuinness? Since the 1950s, they have had a largely negative effect on Northern Ireland, but surely this should have changed in recent years?

The current political leaders are wasting this wonderful opportunity to change Northern Ireland for the better for the next generation.

Ald Tom Ekin (Alliance)

Belfast City Council


Transmission in planes a big issue

Am I the only person surprised to discover... that the means of transmission in aeroplanes can be so easily switched off by the pilot, or others, or – switched off at all?


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