Brian John Spencer: Thank goodness for those voices who challenge the anti British imbalance in Ireland

A letter from the artist Brian John Spencer:

By Letters
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 7:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 8:07 pm
The former TD and Irish justice minister Michael McDowell pointed out the hypocrisy of Dublin on legacy
The former TD and Irish justice minister Michael McDowell pointed out the hypocrisy of Dublin on legacy

Among the Republic of Ireland (RoI) elites anglophobia is alive and well, ran a headline in the Daily Telegraph recently.

The article by Eilis O’Hanlon right observed how a bout of “giddy bar room nationalism” has broken out across the country.

When it comes to Brexit the media in Ireland and across our islands is particularly imbalanced.

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Letter to the editor

All ills lie at the feet of perfidious Boris and his London government. On Brexit and the protocol, Brussels and Dublin are model governments, and rarely is a bad word written or spoken of them.

It is funny however, if you watch RoI media and commentators closely, on localised domestic issues such as housing, health and jobs the incumbent government is a shining beacon of rank incompetence, but suddenly when it comes to Brexit, Boris and the matter of Irish unity, that same Dublin administration is a glowing example of text book good governance.

But thank goodness for the likes of Henry McDonald of your paper, Belfast born Matthew Thompson of LBC, and in particular Tom McTague of the Atlantic magazine who have written and argued about the NI Protocol, not from a unionist perspective, but with the two communities in mind.

Thereby explaining how not just London, but also Dublin and Brussels have helped cause the current Stormont impasse due to the protocol.

Tom wrote in the Atlantic, “Dublin knew that what it was pushing for would upset the peace settlement; and the EU used its power over the UK to impose untenable conditions it would never accept for itself.”

To read this comment on the protocol in a context of almost unrelenting Brit-bashing is as startling as it is refreshing.

To continually hear politicians and commentators champion the Belfast Agreement, but then dismiss and even ridicule unionist concerns is very frustrating, and for the future really quite worrying. But thankfully there are voices out there to correct the imbalance.

However, there is an issue even more imbalanced, and that’s the issue of legacy.

The Dublin government, and in particular Simon Coveney, repeatedly scold London for its proposed Troubles Amnesty Bill, even though Dublin granted the Provisional IRA an amnesty. The doublethink is beyond parody.

The former TD and grandson of Eoin MacNeill who founded the Irish Volunteers, Michael McDowell, recently pointed out the rancid hypocrisy of Dublin decrying the proposed amnesty from London.

Because of course, in his own words, “this state (the Republic of Ireland), a de facto moratorium on investigation and prosecution of IRA members (other than those described as dissidents) came into operation”.

And he added that this was “demanded by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness”.

And of course the former has attacked the proposed Amnesty from London.

McDowell further added that “the Irish government of which I was a member took the decision that further investigation and prosecution by An Garda Síochána of such historic offences was no longer warranted or justified by reason of the greater interest in ending the Provisional campaign and all other political violence in Northern Ireland”.

So, I have to ask, like on the Brexit debate, why are the media and politicians so openly skewed against London and favourable to Dublin when the facts show that Dublin is as every bit as slippery, opportunist and covetous as London?

Brian John Spencer, Hillsborough

• Other comment articles:

• Jim Allister May 17: Boris Johnson flew into NI with weak message on the protocol

• Ruth Dudley Edwards May 17: Thank you Lithuania for pursuing Omagh bomber