Thursday 8 December 2016

Garret’s blind spot on the Great War

Published 30/05/2011 | 05:00

While the death of any individual is to be regretted, I feel nonetheless compelled to challenge the virtual universal consensus on the late Garret FitzGerald as an esteemed Son of Eireann.

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Dr Fitzgerald had an unmistakably nationalist, patrician aspect to his persona, and in no other area did this Olympian trait so venally manifest itself than in his attitude to those who volunteered to fight with the British in World War One -- he repudiated the loyal Redmondites who joined the war effort as being bereft of any national spirit.

He defined them outrageously as simply kowtowing like supine serfs to British imperial war exigencies. Dr FitzGerald showed a complete lack of historical nuance by dismissing and denigrating an entire honourable generation.

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