Friday 27 April 2018

Michael Collins a spurious choice

Sir -- I agree with Liam Collins with regard to the vacuity of RTE's 'Greatest Figures' vote. However he should not be too disappointed at the result. I imagine that it may be of some consolation to him to remember that, in a similar exercise, the British chose a war-monger.

I also agree with Liam Collins that, "RTE'S bid to find the greatest Irish person is more notable for its omissions than its 'stars''', but for slightly different reasons.

At one point in his article the reader is asked to consider "what other Irishman or woman achieved greatness?" The Duke of Wellington, Francis Bacon, William Rowan Hamilton, Lady Gregory, Samuel Beckett and George Best are suggested. One wonders why he didn't include, Goldsmith, Shaw, Swift, Robert Boyle of Boyle's law fame, and Bishop Berkley. Any worthwhile valid list of great Irish figures should include Wilde, Yeats and Parnell among the first 10.

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