Opinion Letters

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Stop messing with our history

Madam -- The risible spectacle of Micheal Martin's deluded self-indulgent historical lecture, proclaiming the myth of our 'Great tradition of Irish republicanism' at Bodenstown, Co Kildare, last Sunday must be challenged by all endowed with even a scintilla of honesty about our past -- lest we all become compliant Fenian Leprechauns.

Mr Martin is patently ignorant of the fact that there never has been an Irish republican tradition following on from the death of Tone, and McCracken. The only evidence of trace republican virtue resided in Mary Ann McCracken, a social and political reformer, and heir to the rationality of the Enlightenment, who campaigned tirelessly on behalf of the oppressed universal underclass, at home, and abroad. A lady who was observed, well into her late 80s, handing out anti-slavery leaflets to those heading off for America at Belfast docks. Not for this indefatigable sister of Henry Joy the insufferable elitism of violent Fenian nationalism, which Mr Martin is really rabbiting on about, and cherishes so dearly.

If he is really interested in modern Irish political history, he should examine the irrational, and romantic 'nationalist' character of Fenianism, founded by a cadre of mainly bourgeois former Young Irelanders in 1858, which Pearse fused with the ultra-nationalism of the Fin de Siecle movement of the late 1880s in France, championed by Charles Maurras, the father of Fascism in all but name.

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