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The Poppy Appeal in Northern Ireland broke the £1m fundraising mark for the first time this year.

 

2009 was a record-breaking year for Royal British Legion fundraising through the Poppy Appeal throughout the land.  What is particularly gratifying is the fantastic amount raised by the RBL in Northern Ireland.  In order that my last ATW post of the year ends on a happy, positive note, the amount raised in Ulster was an amazing £1,010,699.80.  In an area with a total population of only 1.8 million that sum is one hell of an achievement.

What marks Northern Ireland out from the rest of the country is the spiteful, erroneous and ill-judged campaign on behalf of a violence-nurtured minority who over-compensate with ignorance what they lack in common decency.  That means every year the poppy becomes a political symbol to be criticised by people from those same quarters who couldn’t identify real, gallant soldiers (as opposed to filthy terrorists) if their lives depended on it. 

Our soliders are risking their lives in far away lands.  The wearing of the poppy shows our thanks and appreciation for the work they do.  I applaud the efforts of those in Northern Ireland who brought out the very best qualities in that society.  They took on the propadandistic voices of republicanism and won.  I wish them a very happy New Year.

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