Sunday 11 December 2016

A sorry affair

Published 23/02/2012 | 05:00

Describing the apology offered by former British prime minister Tony Blair for Britain's role in the Irish potato famine as a complete exercise in moral vacuousness (Irish Independent, February 21) suggests BBC journalist Jeremy Paxman is ignorant of the difference between the failure of the potato crop and the Famine. There was no shortage of food in Ireland during the Famine years. Indeed, ships laden with food -- which was sown and reaped by people too poor to purchase it for themselves -- left Irish ports daily.

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It was believed that the British government of the time deliberately pursued a policy aimed at destroying the Irish people by means of mass starvation, an act that amounted to a form of genocide. I am indifferent to Mr Paxman's remarks on the Famine apology; as for Mr Blair's apology for Britain's role in the Famine, I accepted it in the same spirit that it was given.

Tom Cooper
Knocklyon, Dublin 16'A bond that language doesn't unlock': a young Roddy McDowell shares a quiet moment with his best pal in Lassie come home.

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