I would like to echo your Morning View on Monday and welcome the appointment of Trevor Ringland as the UK’s first Special Envoy to the United States on NI (‘Ringland is inspired choice as NI envoy in US,’ June 7, see link below).
Trevor is a man of integrity, courage and grace.
He is a clear thinker and makes many more friends than enemies. He will be an effective advocate for everyone in Northern Ireland.
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He and I share a few things in common. We are about the same age, started at Queen’s University Belfast in the late 1970s and played rugby.
I played for the school under 14 B team and he played for the British and Irish Lions!
We both had good fathers who were comfortable being both Irish and British.
They were also both policemen. Trevor’s dad retired after a long and distinguished career. My dad died in the bottle green uniform in 1985 at the ruthless and merciless hands of the IRA.
Michelle O’Neill’s comment on this appointment was churlish and predictable. However, I hope that upon mature refection, Sinn Fein will come to welcome and support Trevor Ringland in this new role.
If we are to cherish all our children on this island, whatever constitutional arrangements there may be, we need to allow their voices to be heard.
The unionist voice in America has often been very faint. If Trevor can raise the volume a little and shed a different light on some republican myths — especially those that in the past have fed the violence — he will have done all of us a service.
Sinn Fein might not like that, but they should accommodate and even welcome it.
I pray that Trevor will get widespread support and that his work for peace and reconciliation will far exceed his successes on a rugby pitch.
Rev Dr David Clements, Cullybackey
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