Sunday 26 January 2020

Letters to the Editor: 'We must remember there were atrocities on all sides'

Crowds gather at the GPO after the Easter Rising. Photo: Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Crowds gather at the GPO after the Easter Rising. Photo: Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

I believe the events between 1916 and 1922 should be seen for what they were from all perspectives.

In the past, our history was airbrushed to give glory to the 1916 Rising and subsequent Independence. I believe this was wrong, as these events impacted strongly on people, families and communities. Let us not forget there were atrocities on all sides.

It is disappointing that, in what appears to be an inclusive and tolerant 2020 society, we appear unable to remember the harsh reality of rebellion and evil deeds. This commemoration has the potential for this to occur without glorification. Lest we forget!

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Joe Harrison

Spanish Point, Co Clare


Minister fails to understand nature of his proposal

Finally bowing to public opinion, the minister for justice, Mr Charlie Flanagan, has cancelled the planned commemoration of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP), who were killed in action during the period of the Irish War of Independence.

 It seems, however, that the minister continues to misunderstand the controversial nature of his original proposal.  The RIC was an illegitimate paramilitary police force, which took up arms against its own democratically elected Irish government.

The election in question took place in December 1918 and resulted in Sinn Féin winning over 70% of all seats on the island of Ireland. Subsequently, Dáil Eireann was formally established in January 1919.

Britain refused to recognise the mandate of the Irish people and employed the RIC to hunt down the elected representatives and their lightly armed guards. A war of unequal forces was thereby unleashed upon the people. (Though unarmed, the DMP worked hand in glove throughout the period in question with the RIC, the Black and Tans and the Auxiliary police).

So far the minister for justice has had nothing at all to say about the real police heroes of the conflict, such as the poorly-armed republican police force. Nor has he mentioned the heroic RIC mutineers of Listowel in June 1920 – and the hundreds of other RIC throughout the country who followed their example. These men sacrificed their careers rather than ‘commit murder’ (the words of Constable Jeremiah Mee, police leader at Listowel barracks).

Billy Fitzpatrick,

Terenure, Dublin 6W


Trump looks more likely to follow Clinton than Obama

I hope Donald Trump hasn’t been talking to Hillary Clinton, who said in 2008: “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacks Israel]. We would be able to totally obliterate them.”

Barack Obama dismissed her rhetoric as sabre-rattling. Trump is no Obama.

Dr John Doherty

Vienna, Austria


Let’s stick to the English,  not American, language

While I generally find John Downing’s articles insightful, his use – or maybe it is an Irish Independent style choice – of the American date format is irksome, writing the month first, followed by the day.

While many might feel we are culturally closer to Boston than Birmingham, we have been using, for the most part, British English conventions in writing and speech.

Alas, and perhaps inevitably given the US’s global influence, the Americanisation of our English appears to have grown considerably over the last generation or so. Note, as another manifestation, the widespread use of ‘gotten’ as the past participle of ‘get’, uttered by adolescents in North American tones.

In these turbulent times, let’s not further alienate ourselves from our nearest neighbour. After all, the English did lovingly give us the language, didn’t they?

Brendan Corrigan

Bogotá, Colombia


Use Nama funds and land to build more low-cost housing

Instead of giving the money to the Government – fraught with danger with an election looming – Nama should be told to use the money to build a mix of houses for sale at cost or below on land it controls.

For social housing this is a no-brainer, and to produce private housing at cost would go some way to undermining an overheated market hugely influenced by the cost of land, heavily invested and hoarded, another scandal the Government claims to be addressing – with a feather duster.

This is our money and the “early risers” have paid through the nose for it since the visit from the Troika. Is there some reason for the Government’s tardiness in addressing the housing market – is it worried that every homeless person in the EU is waiting in the wings? Or is it like the last government, still in the palm of developers?

Dr Michael Foley

Rathmines, Dublin

Irish Independent

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