Sunday 26 March 2017

Fantasy Ireland

•By inventing what might have happened -- in this case, if Eamon de Valera had exited the historical stage in 1916 via a well aimed British bullet -- and then asserting it as fact that Ireland would then have been a tolerant, sectarian-free republic with unionists and nationalists living in harmony, as Desmond Fitzgerald does, is to engage in what is politely known as counterfactual history.

To give just one example of how ludicrous this can be, here is a very brief look at Mr Fitzgerald's claim that "the new Northern Ireland state went on to oppress and deny basic rights to Catholics because of the legacy of mistrust created from 1916".

The legacy of mistrust between Catholics and Protestants in the area that would make up the Northern Ireland state went back far beyond 1916.

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