Segregated schools

John O'Farrell's reference to "an apartheid schooling system" in Northern Ireland (Observations, 2 April) reminded me of a discussion I had with Ian Paisley years ago in the corridors of the European Parliament when I was a Labour MEP. He told me tensions would never be fully resolved while religious segregation in schools remained. As I come from a Scottish Presbyterian background and my grandfather would not, according to my mother, allow a Catholic in the house, the remark lodged in my mind. I hope the new Northern Ireland Executive will have the courage and strength to end that pernicious system.

Gordon Adam

Newcastle upon Tyne

This article first appeared in the 16 April 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Iran