Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Bangor - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Their sacrifice will not be forgotten

Tuesday 17th April 2012

This week, 30 years ago the largest British Naval fleet since World War II was steaming south, across the Atlantic and towards the Falkland Islands. These islands had been British since 1833 and in fact they were not even colonised as there were no indigenous people ever living on them!

This week, 30 years ago the largest British Naval fleet since World War II was steaming south, across the Atlantic and towards the Falkland Islands. These islands had been British since 1833 and in fact they were not even colonised as there were no indigenous people ever living on them! 

In the last 12 months as we have approached the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the Falklands a belligerent Argentina has made, not only highly nationalistic noises regarding invading these Islands, but have also secured a local trade embargo with the Falklands. This trading bloc Mercosur – consists of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, with Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela as associate members. Under the terms of the embargo, vessels carrying the Falklands’ flag are banned from docking in the ports of these South American nations, a move the Falklands’ government says is designed to stifle their economy. 

I would ask the Council to support this motion which asserts that the right of the Falkland Islanders to democratically determine their own nationality and sovereignty. These people are fiercely British and very proud of it. They echo similar values and patriotic ideals that many people in Northern Ireland have. 

Argentina would like to have talks about this sovereignty – Why? When it is patently clear to the whole world that they wish HM the Queen to remain as their monarch. Whether it is an enormous Union flag painted on the roof of a house, the red pillar boxes or the pictures of HM The Queen in shop windows – these people leave the world in no doubt of their desired sovereignty. 

The islands are some 8,000 miles away from Northern Ireland yet they desire the same democratic and constitutional rights as we have. In fact the link with North Down might be closer than members think – we have the Falkland Islands plaque in our lobby!

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