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Forde insult does not bode well

Not everyone agreed with the late Conor Cruise O'Brien's political viewpoint, but few can argue against his status as one of Ireland's outstanding intellectuals.

He brought honour to his country, at so many levels, and is still revered by his peers throughout the world.

Thus, it is sickening to hear a political backwoodsman refer to him as an "intellectually corrupt politician who committed treasonous acts", (Irish Independent, January 12).

While it might, in some way, be understandable for a young political maverick to make waves in the interest of furthering a career in politics, there is no excuse for making a pointless attack on a great man who can not now defend his reputation.

Killian Forde built whatever reputation he has as a member of Sinn Fein and is now a councillor. He has taken the decision to join the Labour Party and has been welcomed by its leader, Eamon Gilmore.

Mr Forde is not the first member of Sinn Fein to be welcomed into Labour's fold, but he is one of the first to directly insult the memory of one of that party's greatest ever ministers of government.

That does not bode well for Labour, or indeed for politics in general.

Niall Ginty
Killester, dublin

Irish Independent