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Our politicians should follow Queen over Republic

I WISH to register my disgust at the conduct of Northern Ireland political leaders in refusing to attend the commemoration of the Easter Rising in Dublin.

The Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are two friendly neighbouring states, yet our 'leaders' behave as though we were still in the bad old days of the mid-20th century.

They are either afraid to lead, or haven't the imagination to do so and they follow the politics of their constituents by continuing to treat the Republic with outdated suspicion.

Five years ago, our Queen, in a speech at Dublin Castle, gave an apology for the oppression of the Irish people by the English and British down the centuries. This landmark address officially cemented a new friendship between the two states. Five years on, those who profess loyalty to her don't even have the manners, or the class, to go to Dublin to represent the people of Northern Ireland in sharing Ireland's celebrations.

Her Majesty was represented in Dublin at the weekend, while our non-representatives were churlish in declining their invitation.

These include our First Minister, Arlene Foster, who is to be above politics in matters of state, and has a duty to represent us on such occasions.

If apology and friendship are good enough for Her Majesty, they should be good enough for Mrs Foster and the rest.

Shameful conduct is bad enough, but when it misrepresents the people of Northern Ireland it is unforgivable and will be remembered for a very long time in the eyes of the world.


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