Don’t attack Iraq – letter to the Editor – 2003

Dear Editor​ 9 January 2003


In an interview on the CBS 60 Minutes programme, on 12 May 1996, a journalist, Lesley Stahl, pointed out to Madeline Albright, then US Ambassador to the UN, that half a million children were reputed to have died up to that point, due to the sanctions imposed against Iraq. “That’s more children than died in Hiroshima. Is the price worth it?” she asked. Madeline Albright didn’t question the figures, but replied – “I think this a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

This chilling exchange unfortunately remains characteristic of the US and British Governments approach to Iraq. Official estimates from UNICEF state that between 5,000 and 6,000 children die every month as a direct result of these sanctions, imposed in our names. In the Arab world this indifference to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit the deliberate targeting of civilian populations in the prosecution of war, serves to remind them of the relatively low value placed on Arab lives and the ineffectual nature of the UN. This has of course been evident to the Palestinian people for a generation, but it is now fuel to the fires lit by Islamic extremists across the world.

Denis Halliday, who resigned from his post as Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq rather than continue to administer sanctions, stated in the Independent (15 October 1998) –

“We are in the process of destroying an entire nation. It is as simple and as terrifying as that. It is illegal and immoral.”

Now we are to wage a terrible war on Iraq. It will be done without justification in International Law and solely to serve the interests of the USA, who seek to control the world’s oil supplies as part of its strategy for “homeland defence”. The war is to be waged exactly because Iraq is defenceless and to act as an example of the USA’s untrammelled power, to the other countries in the region, in particular Iran, which Bush has described as being part of the “Axis of Evil”. We know that Iraq is defenceless, not least, because Scott Ritter the former weapons inspector (and patriotic US citizen), stated on John Pilger’s TV documentary on 25 March 2000-

“Everything we set out to destroy in 19991, the physical infrastructure, had been eliminated. So if I had to quantify Iraq’s threat in terms of weapons of mass destruction, the real threat is zero, none.”

The war on Iraq is being misrepresented as part of the “war against terrorism”, even though Saddam Hussein is despised by Osama Bin Laden for operating a secular regime in the region and despite the fact, that Iraq clearly played no part in the outrages of 11 September. This war will destabilise not only the Middle East, it will provoke further terrorist outrages and create global insecurity. It is important that people of conscience register their opposition to this madness. They can do so by signing the petition on and noting the arrangements for various forthcoming protests detailed in the website.

Yours faithfully



General Council Elections 2014 Why You Should Vote Unity



Last year only 6,124 NIPSA members, out of a membership of 45,616, voted in the election of the union’s governing body, the General Council.  And yet the General Council is an important body.  Amongst other things, it is tasked with the general management and control of the union; setting its priorities and committing its resources to the campaigns and actions required by our members. General Council is also tasked with taking forward actions demanded from motions adopted as policy at our annual conferences.

As we enter into yet another year of Austerity and budget cuts imposed on the NI Assembly by the Coalition Government, there is a greater need than ever to elect a General Council which has the interests of members foremost in their thinking and actions.  A council that has the experience of campaigning on issues in a manner that builds enduring public and political support for our members and the services they provide.  

NIPSA Unity is a group of independent NIPSA activists with considerable experience in serving your interests in the General Council and its sub-committees, the Civil Service Group, Central Whitley Council and the Public Officers Group.


  • We are not directed by any outside political party or faction
  • We are free to deal with all issues before us solely on their merits
  • We will always put your interests first
  • Our membership is open to members of NIPSA
  • We see to represent a wide spectrum of branches and sectors

We believe that we are fielding the strongest list of candidates, from the widest range of sectors and with the best actual experience and skill in representing the interests of our members.

For example, our members are to the fore in the current campaign to defend the DVA local vehicle licensing offices; in opposing the disbanding of NIHE; the opposition to “Welfare Reform” and the Universal Credit proposals and in challenging the Transforming Your Care agenda in Health.  We were also involved in previous and, most importantly, successful campaigns to secure proper funding for DOE Planning Service that avoided mass redundancies which had been threatened; and of course in leading the ICTU Water Charges non-payment campaign, which saw off the threat of individual household water charges here.  You can learn more about our candidates by clicking here

NIPSA Unity General Council Candidates 2014





Please vote for the NIPSA Unity candidates listed below, and the Independent candidate, all of whom will consider and deal with the issues before the General Council solely on their merits, putting your interests first.


For more information about each of our candidates click on their names below 




Area of employment

Baker, Pat


Down District Council
Clarke,  Harry


Northern Ireland  Assembly
Crilly, Denise


Department for Social Development, Child Maintenance Service
Dobbs, Philomena


Western Education and Library Board
Hamilton, Mike


Department of Finance and Personnel
Haughey, Conor


Newry & Mourne District Council
Herron, Michael


Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Hughes, Sharon


Department for Social Development, Child Maintenance Service

Hoy, Lisa


Department of Justice
Kirk-Lyness, Gillian


Northern Ireland Assembly
McKeown, Michael


McKinstry, Heather


Southern Education and Library Board
McNulty, Janette


Department of Education
Moore, Brian


Department of the Environment
Morton, Sam


Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Robinson, Michael


Department for Regional Development
Rooney, Mairead


Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure
Smyth, Brian


Southern Health and Social Care Trust
Toner, Dáire


Northern Ireland Assembly
Veighey, Joanne


Department of the Environment


Mitchel Freedman