Unionism in turmoil

 

Sir, – In late May 2021, the then incoming DUP leader Edwin Poots claimed in the Stormont Assembly that North-South relations had “never been worse”. Since that time he has been critical of several Irish Government Ministers and has also accused the EU of treating Northern Ireland as a “plaything”, while on several occasions insisting that his party was “united”. It has been painful to watch the DUP implode under the inept (albeit brief) leadership efforts of a man whose predecessor branded his vision for the party as “regressive and nasty”. While one might forgive Arlene Foster for allowing herself a momentary wry smile, she must herself accept responsibility for the issues resulting from the Brexit fiasco, followed by the subsequent DUP Westminster performances, a toxic cocktail of political naivety and arrogance. Unfortunately this debacle is not a laughing matter for either unionism or Northern Ireland. It is time the DUP stopped talking only to itself in frightened corners and recognise the potential value of its contribution to a modern, changing Ireland, in whatever guise that may come. – Yours, etc,

NEVILLE SCARGILL,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – If a week is a long time in politics and a wet week a more flexible, if imprecise, measure, then surely a “Poots” (21 days) is to be welcomed as a useful addition to the political lexicon. – Yours, etc,

DEREK ROW,

Naas, Co Kildare.

Sir, – It has long been recognized that a week is a long time in politics, but for some this is worse than for others. If 6,000 years equates to 4.54 billion years, five weeks must seem an age. On the plus side, if we view time in that fashion a united Ireland in the next 50 years is nothing to worry about. – Yours, etc,

COLIN WALSH,

Templeogue,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – To lose one party leader may be regarded as unfortunate; to lose two looks like carelessness. – Yours, etc,

FRANK PATTERSON,

Wezembeek-Oppem,

Belgium.

Sir, – Brendan Behan was right when he said that the first item on an Irish agenda is the split. – Yours, etc,

TONY CORCORAN,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 14.

Sir, – Susan McKay’s new book on Northern Ireland is subtitled “On Shifting Ground”. Prescient or what? – Yours, etc,

PATRICK NOLAN,

Waterford.

Sir, – The demise of Edwin Poots as leader of the DUP is yet another example of how ludicrous the pretend political system that emerged from the Belfast Agreement has become in the failed state that is Northern Ireland. – Is mise,

SEÁN MÍCHEÁL

Ó DOMHNAILL,

Ardara, Co Donegal.

Sir, – We know that politics can deliver occasional surprises. However, when Edwin Poots assumed the leadership of the DUP a few short weeks ago, surely nobody could have anticipated that his ultimate removal from office would be a consequence of people regarding his behaviour as too liberal. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL McDERMOTT,

Dublin 6.