Rugby and building relationships
Sir, – Many congratulations to Rory Best for not only captaining Ireland to victory against the All Blacks but also on his recent award of the OBE. Further congratulations and indeed thanks are due to him and his fellow Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll for lending their credibility and profile to the recent BT Sport Documentary Shoulder to Shoulder (which will be shown more broadly ).
This highlighted the way rugby over the years has brought people on this island together during periods when so many other forces were pulling them apart. To at all times respect and never threaten each other’s nationality, religion or identity. With relations across this island strained by many issues at present it is worth celebrating how the Irish rugby team and also recently the women’s hockey team made us all so proud . Bringing people together from all parts of the island, celebrating their diversity, achieving great things whilst respecting different identities and traditions. Showing how to do relationships the right way, and not the wrong way.
Of course sport is much easier than many other situations. However, that is not to diminish what it shows us in terms of what can be achieved by greater understanding, generosity of spirit and genuine mutual respect. – Yours, etc,