A divided country


Sir, – I met my wife Jacqueline the week Ireland and the UK joined the EEC in January 1973.

In 1975 we both voted to stay in the EEC.

In 2016 we both voted to stay in the EU, as did our married daughters and their husbands.

However, many of our siblings voted to leave, and while most family issues can be readily smoothed over, this split is proving extremely divisive. There is no middle ground.

In Easter 2016 we were in Dublin, and visited the 1916 Rising Exhibition in the GPO. I asked a museum guide about the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty, when a Northern Irish lady immediately burst into our conversation expressing her anger that the Treaty had ever been signed in the first place.

We did not understand how anybody could feel so strongly about something that had happened almost a century earlier, and how such divisions could have lasted so long.

I cling to the hope that we never leave the EU, but whatever happens, I fear that the fractures in our country will also persist for a very long time. – Yours, etc,