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Unionists have right to be defined as British

 

Dr Graham Gudgin (Comment, August 30) seems to have convinced himself that 80% of "Northern Ireland's people" are unionists. The rest don't matter.

Dr Gudgin is only concerned about people in the Republic harassing unionists about Irish unity. He is not concerned about British sovereignty over Irish people. Personally, I'm opposed to forcing unionists into a united Ireland - full stop.

In terms of the island of Ireland, unionists claim to be the Ulster Protestant British people, an equally legitimate people, separate and distinct from the Irish people. They also claim to be the majority of the people of Northern Ireland to make the set-up seem democratic. But it muddies their claim to be a separate and distinct people. To get to the point: Article 2 of the Irish Constitution (quoted in the Belfast Agreement) states: "It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland to be part of the Irish nation."

Perhaps if unionists formally challenged this claim and asserted their right to identify themselves and be accepted as British, it would end the harassment of Irish unity once and for all.

Opinion in the Republic might finally get the message: no Irish unity, please, we're British.

MALACHY SCOTT

Belfast

 

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