Saturday 16 December 2017

Ronan Fanning: Martin faces a simple choice between Lemass or Adams in national interest

Ireland must be prepared to commit unequivocally to an 'integrated Europe without any reservations', writes Ronan Fanning

'AFTER 90 years of so-called freedom, should we be proud of it?" A man at the bar in my local before Christmas felt so strongly that he raised his voice slightly; otherwise I would neither have heard his rhetorical question nor his answer: "No way!"

I disagree with his answer but his is a question that we all need to ask ourselves as we face into 2012 and it is a measure of our present plight that such questions are commonplace in Irish pubs this Christmas. Ireland's relationship with Europe lies at the heart of that question, because our decision to enter Europe was the most important decision we took in our 90 years of freedom.

Ireland will hold the Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2013. Previous Irish presidencies have proved remarkably successful and the best way to ensure that we enjoy a comparable success in 2013 is to use 2012 to clarify, once and for all, what we want from Europe and what we can offer in return.

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