Thursday 16 August 2018

Eoghan Harris: Empathy is the only way to a unity of people on our island

'No, I am not going to make a meal out of Mary Lou McDonald’s woes. I am not the kind of pious columnist who arrives late on the battlefield to bayonet the wounded.' Photo: Frank McGrath
'No, I am not going to make a meal out of Mary Lou McDonald’s woes. I am not the kind of pious columnist who arrives late on the battlefield to bayonet the wounded.' Photo: Frank McGrath
Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

Given Peter Robinson's wake-up call to unionism and Mary Lou McDonald's volte-face on border polls, I am extra grateful to Eugene Downes, director of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, for inviting me to talk about the Duke of Wellington and Daniel O'Connell next Saturday.

Researching Catholic emancipation revealed both men grappling with two sides of a problem that has not gone away - the real fears of the Protestant minority on the island.

Wellington knew that Protestant resistance to Catholic emancipation was fuelled by a minority's well-founded fear it might be massacred in a Roman Catholic rebellion.

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