Tuesday 27 September 2016

Republican roots

Published 03/01/2013 | 05:00

• Kevin Myers wrote recently in the Irish Independent ("How can we have let two key war criminals of 20th Century in Dail" – January 1) of his outrage at the section of Irish society that appears ignorant to the crimes committed in the name of Ireland in the recent past and which certain elements of the political classes do not wish to solve.

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He is right to question the suitability of people for national politics who still have massive questions to answer, not solely of their roles in the Troubles but as to how they can claim to represent a people they so regimentally and amorally attacked during that time.

However, I do find Mr Myers's comments on the wider republican movement and political awareness of my peers, the under-30s, to be most unwelcome and unfair.

Justifying a broadside at a political philosophy he neither supports nor understands by the actions of the few who use 'republicanism' as a cover for their criminality does much disservice to the good work of true republicans and also highlights a major cultural problem we still face today in allowing these people to claim titles they appoint themselves as their cover.

Mr Myers, and many other journalists like him, continues to allow thugs, brutes and criminals to keep their self-appointed titles of 'republicans'. The simple crux of the matter is these people are inconsistent to what it means to be a Republican for reasons varying from ignorance, to conformity, down to the fact that it serves a particular agenda.

Irish republicanism was founded by Irish Protestant Theobald Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen on three simple principles: liberty, equality and fraternity. Contrary to what Mr Myers would have us believe, being an Irish republican was never – and should never be – about taking up arms but has always been about implementing these three principles in every facet of Irish society.

The thought that ignoring the majority vote and killing those who disagree with you somehow fits with republicanism is repugnant.

Constitutional republicans have been represented in Dail Eireann since the 1920s – a time of great political upheaval in the world, which saw Ireland emerge as a global leader in taking the gun out of politics.

This was effectively achieved by republicans after the peaceful transferral of the reins of government after the election of 1932.

Eoin Neylon
Kilmorane, Ennis,
Co Clare

Irish Independent

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