Wednesday 18 January 2017

Footprint of monarchy stamped on our history

Ireland surpassed mere equality in its relationship with Britain long ago, writes John-Paul McCarthy

Published 22/05/2011 | 05:00

PERHAPS Queen Elizabeth has never heard of William Carleton, the Victorian era Irish-speaking novelist, but he was with her in spirit last week.

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Carleton brilliantly captured our odi et amo complex about the British crown. In his autobiography, he described the Whiteboy oath, the first part of which involved swearing allegiance to King George III. This allegiance was rather oddly withdrawn in the oath's last line.

It would be hard to find a more precise example of our historical ambivalence.

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