Bring some of your Russian steel to the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Martin

The Downing Street Declaration of Peace, signed by then-Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and British Prime Minister John Major on 15 December 1993, was intended to resolve conflicts and historical disagreements between the various traditions on that island, particularly in Northern Ireland.

r Major stated on behalf of the British Government that “they had no self-serving strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland”. Very clear and unequivocal.

This week, Jacob Rees-Mogg, on behalf of the current Conservative Party, stated that they will tear up the signed agreement to seal Brexit, particularly as it relates to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Rees-Moggs’ testimony refers to being forced into an agreement.

The history examined may show that another small country was forced into an awkward agreement over the same border 100 years ago.

Michael Martin has presented itself as Russia’s hammer in recent weeks.

He must now bring some of that steel to the border protocol issue and show that his government cares about the broader peaceful population of Northern Ireland who voted against Brexit and its horrendous impact across the island. And don’t leave it to the EU and others.

John Cuff

Dunboyne, Meath

An ethical teacher is good at marking student exams

At the teachers’ conferences (“What we have learned from teachers’ union conferences”, Irish IndependentApril 22), alongside pay, Covid, student growth and other issues, we learned that unions welcomed the proposed Leaving Cert reforms.

We also learned that teachers would oppose the plan to grade their own students through assessments worth 40 percent.

The reason for their opposition is that this process would change the teacher-student relationship and that Ireland is too small a country to operate this system.

With a little critical thinking, teachers would understand that their relationship with students is an ethical, professional, and principled relationship and therefore would not be altered by unbiased teacher judgment.

Nor would or should this assessment be determined by any other influence, relationship or context.

Hugh McDermott

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

Ireland is paying a heavy price for NATO and the US

Amid the deepening refugee crisis in both Ireland and Ukraineand in particular the enormous economic burden, not to mention the injustice of housing so many people in a country that does not have enough housing for its own citizens, shouldn’t our government be pushing for a peaceful solution to the Ukraine war?

It seems to me that the US and NATO want the total destruction of Ukraine at all costs, and the Irish government is complicit in this, even if it also means the total destruction of our own country.

Our elected MPs all sing the same anthem sheet when it comes to Ukraine, and there is no opposition from any leading party to the madness of flooding our country with refugees.

The media are also complicit in the destruction of Ukraine and Ireland as they don’t question anything and simply report on the information that our government is distributing.

Our media should push for a peaceful end to the war while emphasizing the need to end our open-door policy towards Ukrainian refugees.

Eoin Clancy

Headford, County Galway

If only Coveney wore his Iron Man costume closer to home

foreign minister Simon Coveney might think he’s playing a dud if he champions the cause of justice and is Russia’s nemesis. But a few important points seem to have escaped him.

War crimes prosecutions can and will only work against a country if that country loses.

And a world power like Russia hardly becomes the whipped dog on the stage of world opinion and legal revenge. If Russia is to be found guilty on the charges against her, many other warlike tyrants should join that country in the dock.

Winston Churchill said after World War II that if the Allies had lost their side would be indicted at Nuremberg or elsewhere.

Is Mr. Coveney crafting his own plans to become a world leader, or is he just throwing silly figures in the face of tiresome neutrality by frequently appearing in his Iron Man costume?

He may not yet know the true state of affairs, but firstly, a simple reality could be applied to our small government so that it learns to put our own needs in context before attempting to take over the world by converting it into the Hand takes his trefoil sword of Damocles?

Robert Sullivan

Bantry, Co. Cork Bring some of your Russian steel to the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Martin

Fry Electronics Team

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