DUP right to stand up to Dublin’s meddling in NI

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The DUP has rightly responded to Dublin’s increasing interference in internal Northern Ireland matters.

This has been going mostly unchallenged for years, usually in the form of speeches demanding an inquiry into one Troubles death, Pat Finucane.

But there has been other unhelpful agitating from Irish ministers. Eamon Gilmore lectured Northern Ireland on the need to introduce another nationalist pet project, a Bill of Rights.

Charlie Flanagan made a range of unhelpful interventions, such as telling Britain to open files over the Dublin-Monaghan bomb (extraordinary in light of the Republic’s long and shameful extradition record, which gave so much succour to IRA murderers) or telling us that we should not introduce a statute of limitations for security forces (a proposal that has emerged from the sudden and necessary deliberations among MPs about how to respond to the scandal of soldiers facing trial when terrorists leaders do not).

Leo Varadkar told Arlene Foster to allow gay marriage, which shows some nerve coming from the prime minister of a country that did not even decriminalise homosexuality until the 1990s, one of the last countries in the western world to do so.

And statement after statement has lectured Britain with regard to how Brexit should be implemented on this island, recently including Simon Coveney “insisting” that Northern Ireland get ‘special status’.

The latter comment was contemptible, given that it would utterly change the Province’s position within the UK.

Unionists have often been silent in the face of such Dublin interference. London has always been so.

This reticence must end, once and for all. Every instance of interference must be rebutted. So it is welcome that the DUP has now pointed out the hypocrisy of Dublin insisting that the UK be neutral over NI while it meddles and agitates.

They, the Ulster Unionist Party and the Conservatives should forge a combined response to Dublin commentary.