Madam -- M Sullivan (Letters, August 12) is quite misguided to equate the direction and objectives of Sinn Fein with those of Fianna Fail. Having regard to Fianna Fail being a totally constitutional political party for most of a century, and Sinn Fein being the Johnny-come-lately in the democratic electoral process, let me point out a few things.
Whatever crib we can find with FF, we can be sure none of their activists will hold a threat of violence over us for a variety of excuses, and none. Any small community in rural Ireland, and the same is true of the cities, knows that there is always the whiff of the baseball bat wafting around the broad shoulders of SF, who for the most part have their true face and force in the background awaiting to be called into service should their nationalistic credentials be required or questioned.
M Sullivan, and indeed many voters, are lulled by the 'new' crop of SF politicians, local and national, who can string a few articulate sentences together, and voted for them because they have forgotten their recent history. So SF is now seen as some valid alternative to other political parties who have become stale. Big mistake. The rank and file of Sinn Fein are people who are not at all as plausible as the elected faces of the party, and to all intents and purposes remain a quasi paramilitary reserve force.
When the IRA ceasefire (surrender) was called, it was indeed a welcome development, but not all of that particular boil was lanced. Tactics alone are the pursuit in Sinn Fein's particular brand of 'politics', and they have their "activists" at the ready to persuade. Sour apples never fall far from the tree.
They will still let one know they don't like to be written about or spoken of with even a hint of negativity. Reinforce the windows and doors if you do, and buy a pair of shin guards.
Bantry, Co Cork