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Unionist shame over absence from Albert Reynolds funeral

THE words of the deputy national security adviser to former US President Bill Clinton, Nancy Soderberg, accusing politicians in the north of an "abysmal abdication of leadership" and of being "far too stuck in the past", were clearly illustrated at the funeral of the late taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, recently. Not one single senior unionist leader was in attendance.

The presence at the funeral of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, and former British Prime Minister John Major was most welcome. However, their attendance in no way excused the absence of all the leaders of unionism.

This absence was not just a considered discourtesy to this state, but a bigger discourtesy to the majority of decent people, of all political and religious persuasions from Northern Ireland, who were, once again, let down in the face of the world.

TOM COOPER

Dublin

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