Wednesday 7 December 2016

Their belief in peace

Published 22/05/2016 | 02:30

Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell

Sir - Fergal Keane in his letter (Sunday Independent, May 15) seems to imply that neither Daniel O'Connell nor Charles Stewart Parnell were particularly concerned with the situation of the Catholics in the north east of Ireland during their "great campaigns".

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I have no knowledge of the situation of Catholics there in 19th century Ireland, living under the Crown, but certainly we know with the establishment of Stormont - "a Protestant state for a Protestant people" - the plight of the Catholic minority was greatly aggravated, abandoned to a large extent by the Catholic south in a truncated political Ireland.

The Civil Rights Movement was a sure sign of a risen people. I remember staying in a house in Derry where the family were so initially proud of the marches, but were soon disillusioned by the hijacking of the movement by proponents of the "armed nationalism". As Mr Keane ends his incisive contribution: "They believed in peace from the beginning. They were the majority."

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