After a centenary of Northern Ireland try to imagine if it had never existed

A letter from Tom Nash:

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 3:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 3:07 pm
A bronze statute of the inventor Harry Ferguson. Would people such as him and Professor Pantridge, like the southern Protestant population, have left these shores?

Throughout the year marking the centenary of Northern Ireland republicans and nationalists as well most inhabitants of the Republic of Ireland used it to demonise Northern Ireland.

BBC NI seemed to offer a platform to many commentators who openly sneer at Northern Ireland and its unionist population.

But what if Northern Ireland had never existed?

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Would Harry Ferguson have invented the tractor or Professor Pantridge the portable defibrillator or any of the other great inventors from Northern Ireland flourished?

Possibly not, if like the southern Protestant population they had left these shores rather than live in an insular, anti British, Catholic ruled and dominated country.

However, the greater question is: ‘What would the outcome of World War Two have been if Northern Ireland never existed?’

The war to free Europe from enslavement may well have been lost, or at least millions more would have perished under Nazi rule.

After Dunkirk, with Britain on its knees, Hitler would have ordered the immediate invasion of Ireland, as a prelude to Operation Sea Lion.

General Kurt Student and his Fallschirmjäger Divisions would have been ideal for this, indeed, just one of his Parachute divisions would have sufficed to subdue any resistance from the Irish Army, especially as the many ‘Brit Haters’ would have welcomed them.

Without Northern Ireland Britain would not have had access to Harland and Wolf or Shorts, both vital to the war effort.

Lough Foyle and the Flying Boat Bases, so crucial to keeping sea lanes open would be denied to Britain.

With Hitler in control of the all the major Irish ports vital supplies from the US, Canada and other Commonwealth Countries would have been in peril from the U Boat packs based in Ireland.

The US troops who trained here for D Day would never have seen these shores.

The list is endless.

So perhaps it is time that Northern Ireland and its vital role during WW2 was openly acknowledged by those countries, such as France Holland and Belgium, freed from Hitler’s Jackboot.

Above all maybe BBC NI could for once acknowledge the huge contribution this small place made towards freeing those countries, now making up the EU, from Nazi tyranny.

Tom Nash, Derriaghy

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