The revisionist view of the Rising does not stand up to scrutiny
Published 18/01/2016 | 02:30
Gerard O'Regan, in the Irish Independent (January 16), when reflecting on disentangling Roger Casement's multifaceted life, reminds us of the pros and cons of the Rising. His view is that the dogmatists on both sides of the debate have the least to offer. I suggest that his contribution places him among the dogmatists on the 'politically correct' side.
He quotes Fr Francis Shaw's rejection of Pearse's belief that the Irish people needed a blood sacrifice but conveniently forgets to mention that the hero of the PC brigade, John Redmond, also stated in the prologue to Michael McDonaghs book 'The Irish at the Front': "No people can be said to have rightly proved their nationhood and their power to maintain it, until they have demonstrated their military prowess; and though Irish blood has reddened the earth of every continent, never until now have we as a people set a national army in the field."
Would Fr Shaw have needed Pearse or Connolly to personally canvas every adult in the country for their prior approval of a surprise rebellion?
Did the great Imperial powers, before they pillaged Africa and later Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, get the approval of the millions of inhabitants before they murdered them?
You mention another Jesuit, Fr Séamus Murphy's, criticism of the irresponsibility of the "insurgents who made Dublin their battleground, where more civilians were likely to die than combatants".
He forgets to mention the 50,000 volunteers that Mr Redmond seduced to fight in the First World War, most of whom were 'refugees' from the starvation imposed on the poor of Dublin by the lockout of 1913 for having the audacity to join a union. Martin Murphy, a Redmond stalwart, was to the forefront of organising the lockout.
The morality of World War One is quite acceptable; after all, most of the 50,000 that died were unemployed labourers and their wives were looked after while they were at war. As the eminent historian Bernard Lewis said "some historians and most publicists would rewrite history not as it was but as they would have wished it to been "
Hugh Duffy, Cleggan, Co Galway
Bowie the eternal trailblazer
Probably the safest and most secure employment in human history would have to be the funeral business. What could possibly come between the disposing of the dead and the undertaker?
It goes as far back as perhaps the Stone Age and beyond, but following the recent death of starman David Bowie, his wishes were honoured and there was no funeral, or indeed any ceremony.
This was an original stunt of such cosmic proportions that he could easily and unknowingly have set a trend that may well be emulated by millions of his followers and others across the world in the years to come, leading to the demise of the once venerated funeral undertaker.
Ashes to ashes, indeed.
Paddy O'Brien, Ballbriggan, Co Dublin
Labour deserves no mercy
Brendan Howlin claims that Labour stabilised the country by not becoming the largest party in opposition (January 15). He warns voters to beware of naked emperors and misleading political parties.
Howlin continues to mislead voters by claiming that the Government worked because "it has been stable and balanced".
In reality, the reason that the Irish economy appears to be performing well is largely due to policies driven by George Osborne and Mario Draghi.
All the current government did was implement Fianna Fáil's austerity programme.
Labour's Eamon Gilmore waffled on about an end to cronyism; a renegotiation of the bailout; no cuts to special needs groups, child benefit or education; no water charges and 'Every little hurts' was Labour's 2011 slogan.
Enda Kenny may well be the next Taoiseach but Labour, because of its collective arrogance, should be obliterated.
Caitriona Coen, Castleknock, Dublin 15
Not forgetting FF's austerity
Michéal Martin claimed that Fianna Fail "knows where it stands".
So do I. Knee deep in the tears of emigrants and those whose jobs were the price.
Killean Foley Walshe, Kilkenny City
Saoirse is a great national asset
I went to the cinema recently after an absence of two years, the last two movies I had seen being 'Philomena' and 'Captain Philips'. Both were excellent.
At last, I found a reason to go again - and what a joy it was from beginning to end. Anybody guess what I saw? The beautiful Irish movie 'Brooklyn', with the best young actress in the world, our own Saoirse Ronan, now just one of our nine Irish nominations for an Oscar as best actress.
The camera just loves this young lady, she is pure magic. We should be very proud of our young talent in this country and spread the news far and wide.
Brian McDevitt, Glenties, Co Donegal
Leinster youth in full bloom
It was wonderful to see youth have its fling as Leinster sent Bath's dream of European glory down the plughole. Gary Ringrose and the outstanding Ross Maloney demonstrated beyond all doubt that if you are good enough then you are old enough.
It was heartening to see Leinster running with a freedom and flair not seen since BOD was a boy.
But what impressed me most of all was that the green shoots driving the recovery in Leinster came not from big chequebook signings from overseas, but by the nurturing and development of our own homegrown talent.
The Leinster academy deserves huge credit. As clubs such as Toulon and Stade spend mega-bucks on assembling teams of international stars, a strategy has to be developed to meet the challenge. We cannot compete with these signings and their pay-scales. So using our own natural resources and talents will have to be our strength.
The New Zealanders have shown how this can be done. True, we have competing sports to contend with here, but rugby has a big future here if we believe in it.
This belief was on show in abundance with Munster's mighty demolition of Stade. Guts and self-belief are far more reliable in the long run than speculative investments.
Professional sport without passion and the fire of the faithful is a soulless and empty space.
Ed Toal, Galway