Opinions formed by what we know
Madam -- As I read John Paul McCarthy's review of the documentary, An Tost Fada, relating to the forced removal of the Salter family from their home and lands in Dunmanway, Co Cork, I am struck by its judgemental nature of the IRA activists at the time. As one who is neither a sympathiser nor a supporter I think to form an opinion of events at that time one has to reach a proper perspective. Our views today of what happened 90 years ago are formed by first hand evidence such as that given by Canon Salter and we relate his experience against that of our own in today's society.
In Twenties Ireland, anyone who wanted to review the same 90 year period with their peers would be looking back on The Great Famine, the land war and two risings. In Cork alone you had the burning of the city by the "Auxiliaries", in Dunmanway you had the murder of a Catholic priest and a civilian and in Bandon the shooting of a child out playing, by a soldier who thought the breach of his rifle was empty. It was a time of bitterness and resentment for Nationalists which, for those at the time was based on solid foundation.
Canon Salter's acceptance of this history and his pure Christian values show the rest of society that we need to move on and not feel the need to chastise "old racists like O'Riordan and Corkery" for their beliefs without thinking why.