Wednesday 28 September 2016

1916 Rising was about freedom from servitude, not economics

Published 14/11/2015 | 02:30

Sean Lemass is feted by supporters following his by-election victory in 1924. 'Future Taoiseach Lemass was far from economically illiterate'.
Sean Lemass is feted by supporters following his by-election victory in 1924. 'Future Taoiseach Lemass was far from economically illiterate'.

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl deplored as dangerous the fact "not so much that scientists are specialising, but rather the fact that specialists are generalising" and thus claiming a totality of knowledge and influence completely outside their particular expertise.

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David McWilliams is in danger of falling into this same self- indulgence by evaluating the vision of 1916 merely through the lens of an economist (Irish Independent, November 11). Of course there was no mention of economics in the Proclamation. It was a call to the Irish people to cast off the chains of servitude and to claim the freedom that is the entitlement of all independent peoples.

In the same vein, Charles de Gaulle's clarion call "a tous les Francais" was to strive for "l'honneur" and reject "la servitude". Not a whisper about economics. In contrast, the supporters of the Vichy regime allowed the fear of economic consequences to sully their honour, guiding their preference for servitude rather than freedom.

We are not born to work. Work or income enables us to become more fully human, as befits the status of thinking, caring, loving beings with capacities of conscience and an inbuilt sense of justice. Indeed, these and such superior moral qualities should always guide the ends toward which economic or political policy aim.

Does Mr McWilliams include Seán Lemass in his description of the people who took over this country in the aftermath of 1916 as being "economically literate as the Taliban"?

Their being mentioned in the same breath as such extremists is a slur on their integrity, and is unworthy of him.

Colm Ó Tórna

Artane, Dublin

Rising argument is unconvincing

I find it almost impossible to gauge what the David McWilliams meant to convey in his article about the 1916 Rising (Irish Independent, November 11).

In one short breath, he opines that "economic reasons for the 1916 Rising did not exist" while he states that at the same time "our British Imperial Masters were looting the globe". Was Ireland exempt or was our country not on the globe then?

Mr Williams' lack of logic in this matter, his snide remark about the statue of "the dude" in O'Connell Street, his cheap throwaway reference to James Larkin, and his final sop to some gullible readers confirming his own high regard for his Irish citizenship, all smack of inconsistency.

Quoted figures, generalisations, imagined cleverness and oblique references to other countries don't hide the many weaknesses in his unproved statement.

John Kennedy

Mount Merrion, Dublin

Coalition's job pledge

The promises have already started as the Government plans to create 221,300 jobs over next five years. It's amazing how it came up with this very precise figure.

Here is an even more precise figure - 17,472 , which is the number of people who give a first preference vote to Enda Kenny in the last election.

These are the people who will decide if Enda even leads the next Government!

Seamus McLoughlin

Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim

Faith and discrimination

As I sit here writing this letter, tears are welling up in my eyes.

I am upset because my 7-year-old daughter was ranted at yesterday by a Catholic neighbour, which included telling her she will be going to hell for not making her Communion.

My daughter is attending a rural national school. As a country, it's time we start showing respect for each other, which should begin with education.

It's 2015! Children would be happy to learn about all the cultures of the world. The system needs to be reformed to show we are a tolerant, equal nation. We need to reflect that in the education system and not shove non-religious children or children from other religions in the corner when it is time for indoctrination/religious lessons.

Children need to be aware of equality, reason and compassion for others. I sincerely hope the proposed ERB and Ethics programme will go some way in helping to put this issue of child discrimination to rest.

Due to the verbal abuse my daughter already received about not participating in Communion and in order to protect my child, I feel I have no choice but to send this letter anonymously.

Name and address with Editor

Interview TDs with respect

Vincent Browne is puzzled by the fact that Government ministers and senior politicians are unwilling to appear on his 'Constituency Roadshows'.

Perhaps they refuse to appear because of the disrespect and aggression that he continually displays towards those who do!

In my opinion, his approach, which results in senior politicians not attending, poorly serves those members of the audience who outline their particular issues at these events.

The 'Constituency Roadshows' have been a real opportunity lost due to the antics of Mr Browne.

Mary O'Sullivan

Sandymount, Dublin 4

Banks should value customers

Once again, one of our banks, Bank of Ireland, is making things difficult for its older customers with its curbs on over-the-counter transactions.

When will the banks realise that customers are the most important visitors to their premises? Will they have to go bust again?

Banks, customers are not dependent on you. You are dependent on them. They are not an interruption to your work. They are the purpose of it. They are not outsiders to your business. They are a part of it.

You are not doing them a favour by serving them. They are doing you a favour by giving you an opportunity to do so.

Machines will never replace one-to-one engagement with your customers at the counter. End of story.

Brian Mc Devitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Irish Independent

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