Monday, February 20, 2006


Monday Madness - President bashed again

The Taoiseach has defended the President after Paisley's latest onslaughtUnionists have continued to berate and insult the Irish President.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has described as 'unwarranted and unhelpful' remarks by DUP leader Ian Paisley criticising President McAleese, who is visiting Ireland's north.

Dr Paisley said that by taking police protection on her visit while refusing to go to PSNI stations, President McAleese showed her deep hatred of the North.

The North Belfast MP, Nigel Dodds, also said that the President's attitude towards protocols and her ability to cast them aside when visiting the North was reprehensible.

Mr Ahern said the President's visit to Belfast followed all the normal protocol and procedures.

He added that President McAleese had done more than anyone else to reach out to both communities in the North.

This morning, Mrs McAleese was on a visit to Mr Dodd's constituency as part of a one-day visit to Ireland's north.

On her arrival at Belfast Airport, President McAleese was met by Lady Carswell, the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, and the official representative of Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

President McAleese helped launch a new programme for the 174 Trust, a cross community project in north Belfast.

During her visit to the project off the Antrim Road, the President travelled in a convoy of cars provided by the PSNI. She made no reference to the attack on her by Dr Paisley.

This is just disgraceful. It is beyond ridiculous at this point.

I have had issues with the President myself in recent weeks over her claims that the Irish people opposed the publication of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, but what the DUP are engaging in towards our President is nothing short of bullying. It is truly odious.

What do unionists think of this kind of behaviour from the DUP? Do they find it acceptable? How would they feel if Irish politicians acted this way towards the British Queen if she were to visit the Irish Republic, as she looks set to in the near future?

Paisley's behaviour needs to be roundly condemned. This kind of harassment should not be tolerated any longer.

It is sickening.


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