No need for extremists to dominate airwaves on Nolan shows

As a graduate of QUB some years ago I have to agree with Emeritus Professor Brian Walker when he says that the Nolan radio and TV programmes are platforms for extremism. Nolan is broadcasting on the public service broadcasting channel. He should be having intelligent, educated debate about issues like the Irish language etc. Northern Ireland has two good universities with educated historians, linguists etc. Surely they should be given more air time to discuss with authority the history and literature of Irish; the ending of Gaelic Ulster; its revival; the Plantation etc. If this was done instead of the bear baiting engaged by Nolan maybe more light might emerge than heat. Anyone knowing anything about Irish, for example, would know it is a remaining link with the Celtic languages which once covered Europe from Anatolia to Donegal.  
If we have museums, universities, art galleries etc then we need to protect and help a part of our still living common Indo-European linguistic heritage. The Celtic languages are clinging on in the western extremities of Europe. Anyone with an interest in linguistics or history or culture should be actively helping to retain these precious remnants of our past. If we had academics in the relevant areas on Nolan’s prime time programme slots then we might all get educated rather than listening to the mockery of Jim Allister which he seems to think is humour.
People like Gregory Campbell, Jim Allister and Gerry Kelly may make for good Punch and Judy knockabout but do their respective views get the Ulster problem any further forward? In fairness to Stephen Nolan, he can be incisive when he chooses to. It was on his radio programme that I learnt that abortion is still technically illegal in England and Wales but on that programme he had experts in the area. On another occasion he asked Jim Allister if he condemned the UVF of 1912 as would-be men of violence, the same as the men of violence who so blighted Ulster during the Troubles. However, he failed to get an answer as he kept on talking himself.  
There is no need for the air time to be dominated by extremists.
I would ask for academics to be included in their fields of history and culture.  
It happens with an economic and medical correspondents so why not in history, language and culture?
Is this too much to ask and could the Nolan programmes not try and help with educating people from their prejudices?
Leitir Ceananainn, Dun na nGall
Domestic enemies continue to demean our culture
You can see why unionists consider the Irish language a threat. Not in the sense of ham-fisted Sinn Féin quotations, but in the way of the golden thread that knits together the rich tapestry of Irish culture. A dangerous thing to have budding unionist minds exposed to, which is why cultural apartheid has been a priority for the northern state.
Young Protestants need to be kept from their heritage to prevent them developing an affinity for Irishness.
For blind unionism, nothing good can come from their children taking an interest in what they are sorely missing. Awkward questions would be asked when reading non-redacted Irish history. A fierce pride of parish and county instilled if they took up hurling or football. Through the language, a world of literature, myth and story would open up. Songs, traditional and modern, would stir the blood or soothe the mind gilded by music that can make the bones ache for places, times and people. A language of the imagination, slanted more to poetry than law. A spicy stew of dialects that matches the Irish psyche and explains our humour, both good and ill. Through centuries of onslaught and indifference Irish culture has survived and thrived with the help of churches, the GAA and schools, but mostly through the efforts of those steeped in its beauty who simply live it and are quiet examples to us all. Ireland’s domestic enemies continue to demean our culture and the Irish language in particular. They have to keep it at bay otherwise the shallow illusion of unionism will fade to smoke and disappear. If fighting back against a powerful bully is a war then we must prevail. It will be a victory that means we all win.
Belfast BT11
Step in right direction
Surprisingly as a federalist and Christian socialist I find myself in agreement with the Marxist Jeremy Corbyn who is of the opinion that the kingdom should remain within the Customs Union to give a soft border in Northern Ireland. That is a step in the right direction but more is needed. A federalist envisages, not a border straddling the island but a border in the middle of the Irish Sea.
If such an arrangement is to be arrived at Jeremy will have to accept that the kingdom will have to stay not just in the Custom’s Union but in the Single Market as well. To have a border in the Irish Sea the kingdom will have to be reformed radically. There will have to be a new party promoting the Federal Kingdom of Ireland with the reformed crown as head of state for all Ireland. This will require a new flag for a new federal Kingdom; a new name for a new party in the federal kingdom; a new platform for a new federal kingdom; a new anthem for the new federal kingdom. If the constitution were thus reformed and not fought over, the conditions for a vibrant economy would be in place.
Kilfennan, Co Derry
In their silence thousands have spoken
On Saturday (March 10)the newsreader on RTÉ 6pm news began by reading that “thousands of thousands attended the rally for the retention of the Eighth Amendment in Dublin” and this was how the initial news item on the same station began the 9.15pm news. But when the concluding item of both news bulletins was read the figure was reduced to tens of thousands. Was that how it was on the auto cue? Or was it a slip of the tongue of both readers telling us about this most successful undertaking. Why did a spokesperson for the Pro- Choice Group have the opportunity to make a contribution on her position while Radio Éireann was commenting on an event the success of which we all eagerly awaited? 
Both Pro-Life and so-called Pro-Choice are both getting adequate time on the national media to state their case.
Fintona, Co Tyrone
Important St Tassach’s name is  retained
I would like to add my support to Tony Cheetham regarding the removing of the name of St Tassach from St Tassach’s church, Raholp as reported in The Irish News(February 23). At school we were taught that St Tassach was the first and only bishop of Raholp. We were taught that St Patrick landed in Saul, at the River Slaney. He converted Diachu, the local chieftain, who give him a barn (Sabhall in Irish, hence the parish name Sabhall Padraig) as his first church before setting off on his Christian mission of evangelising Ireland. At his death he was given the last rites by St Tassach who, apparently, later went off to Co Roscommon.
He was a bell maker by profession. Raholp has kept his name proudly and there are two housing estates in Raholp, named after the saint. It is important that this ancient history is retained.



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