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• Mark Lawler and John Gallagher state that George Bernard Shaw was a true Irish colossus (Letters, June 2).

There's no doubting Shaw was a clever man, but he also had a soft spot for tyrants; he hailed Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini as the world's great 'progressive' leaders, because they 'did things', unlike the leaders of those 'putrefying corpses' called parliamentary democracies.

Arriving back following a visit to the Soviet Union in the 1930s, Shaw announced: "I've seen tomorrow and it works", and went on to robustly defend the Soviet regime, including its use of the secret police.

This was a land dotted with gulags, where millions of innocent people were being persecuted and worked to death. Either Shaw was expertly conned or he had misplaced his moral compass, but he can't not have known that those horrors were taking place at this time in that part of Europe.

Paddy O'Brien
Balbriggan, Dublin

Irish Independent