Friday 20 September 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Westminster grandees must learn to respect 'Paddy''

Nobody in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster at that time referred to him or his rebel army as drunken, Irish, idiot apes. Stock image
Nobody in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster at that time referred to him or his rebel army as drunken, Irish, idiot apes. Stock image
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

I commend Colette Browne on the comment article ‘Brexiteers are learning their stereotype of the Irish as drunken, idiotic apes is somewhat off the mark’ (Irish Independent, September 11).

Unfortunately this has been the view among the grandees in the House of Commons for many decades past.

One hundred years ago, a ‘Paddy’ – or a “Murphy” as Boris Johnson likes to refer to us nowadays – named Collins ran the mighty forces of the crown ragged around the streets of Dublin and Cork and the surrounding countryside, and brought the British empire to the negotiating table.

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Nobody in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster at that time referred to him or his rebel army as drunken, Irish, idiot apes.

Unfortunately, that is how the grandees in the Westminster parliament have viewed us for many hundreds of years.

These actions resulted in bringing the British government of the day into talks to resolve the issue. Nobody in their right mind in London at that time referred to them as an inferior race. But among the majority, that was the perception of the Irish.

At the present time, it is now starting to dawn on the UK politicians that ‘Paddy’ has powerful allies in the member states of the EU and the influential Irish lobby in the US that cares about the well-being of a country that approximately 30 million Americans refer to as their homeland.

With an election looming next year, US President Donald Trump cannot afford to upset millions of the Irish diaspora if he wants to be returned for a second term. That could seriously damage his re-election bid.

So wee Ireland has powerful friends on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, as we enter the endgame in the Brexit talks.

Let us hope that our UK friends can reach out to us once again on this occasion, in order to protect the Good Friday Agreement, save thousands of jobs, and protect family welfare, so as to avoid a total catastrophe on both our islands.

Tom Towey

Cloonacool, Co Sligo

Exodus of the honourable leaves rodents running ship

We really are living in anomalous times.

With John Bercow the latest in a line of decent and honourable persons exiting UK politics, it seems it is now the rats that cling to the sinking ship.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Co Sligo

Not everyone saw funny side of Churchill’s many quips

Tom Gilsenan (Letters, Irish Independent, September 10) amuses us with one of Churchill’s humorous one-liners. In answer to a fellow MP that if he were her husband she would put arsenic in his tea, he replied if he were her husband he would drink it.

There are many more examples of Winston Churchill’s humour.

When he was home secretary in 1911, his hilarious repost to the effrontery of miners in Tonypandy going on strike was “send in the army; if the Welsh are hungry, we can fill their bellies with lead”.

Another quip was his one-liner to quickly end World War I in 1915 and prove he was a master strategist: “Let’s send the Australians and New Zealanders to Gallipoli.”

Not so amusing was Churchill’s decision to export rice from Bengal in 1943, at a time when crops failed and Bengalis were starving, to other parts of the empire to feed his troops. Churchill’s answer to the fact that up to 13 million died of starvation in India was “the famine was caused because they were breeding like rabbits”.

Does this resound with memories of the potato famine?

Let’s not forget Churchill’s father, Lord Randolph Churchill’s foray into the politics of Ulster and his “playing of the Orange Card” in 1886. He, and his family, are no joke.

Harry Charalambou

Muswell Hill, London

Brolly’s ‘red card’ adds to the decline in forthright punditry

Those of us who do not have a ticket for the football final replay are already a number of scores in arrears because of RTÉ’s decision to leave Joe Brolly off its live panel for the game. It seems that Brolly’s ‘red card’ may be for his criticising and questioning the judgment of the referee in the drawn game.

I appreciate that there is a serious point here in that referees are fundamental to our games and must get and be seen to get respect. However, he was not the only one on the panel to criticise the referee and in the days thereafter apologised to the official. 

In not considering his apology in mitigation, RTÉ is facilitating the decline of its own high standard for forthright punditry on its sports panels. Besides being ‘on the edge’, Brolly’s contribution continuously outmanoeuvres, outplays, and outscores the scourge of maniacal screen graphics, a technology that is ruining the art of true punditry on sports channels worldwide.

Michael Gannon

Thomas’s Square, Kilkenny

Irish Independent

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