“The Irish Republic is not, and never has been, a friendly neighbour”
(Belfast Newsletter, 14th July 2023)
A letter from Tom Ferguson, Ballymoney
I read Tom Cooper’s letter on bonfire hatred with great interest, particularly his assertion that the Irish Republic is a ‘peaceful neighbouring state’ (‘Letter: Incitement to hatred has been allowed to become part of unionist culture,’ July 13, see link below).
Would this by any chance be the state that in 1925 signed up to a solemn international treaty to respect the current border between it and Northern Ireland? And then in 1937, in shocking bad faith, reneged on its solemn word and laid claim to Northern Ireland, thus providing a quasi legal justification for subsequent IRA terror campaigns? Hardly the actions of a friendly neighbour.
Would this be the state that had prominent government and establishment figures that gave assistance to the establishment of the Provisional IRA, and therefore the subsequent decades of bloodshed and mayhem? And allowed its territory to be used as a safe haven from which to organise atrocities like Kingsmills, Tullyvallen, Darkley, and other sectarian atrocities in Northern Ireland? Hardly the actions of a friendly neighbour.
Would this be the state that for decades refused to extradite murderers of policemen and soldiers, on the grounds that such murders were ‘political’? And when an extradition treaty of sorts was agreed, used nit-picking details like a comma in the wrong place, to ensure that it was as ineffective as possible? Hardly the actions of a friendly neighbour.
Would this be the state that, (admittedly partly due to the ineptitude of some unionist politicians), ganged up with their masters in the European Union, to ensure that there would be a hard border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK? Hardly the act of a friendly neighbour.
In short, in the eyes of the unionist community, the Irish Republic is not, and never has been, a friendly neighbour. At the present time it is actively working, with a treacherous, supine British establishment, to annex Northern Ireland, and is therefore our bitter enemy, and it is hardly surprising that its IRA inspired tricolour is consequently treated with such loathing and contempt.
Should the day ever dawn when the the Irish Republic publicly apologises to all the people that have been wronged and maimed, and the families of those who have been murdered due to their past policies. And also gives up their insistence on the current hard border in the Irish Sea, then, and only then, would any self – respecting unionist feel obliged to treat their flag with anything other than contempt.
Tom Ferguson, Ballymoney