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The Rising

•The assertion by Kevin Myers that the 1916 Rising was the "start" of authentic independent Irishness is not true (September 13). On the contrary, 1916 was the consequence of the failure of the imperial parliament in London to implement the Home Rule Act.

The Home Rule Act, giving limited self rule to the whole island of Ireland, was passed by the imperial parliament and signed into law by the monarch.

The Home Rule Act was, therefore, passed by the most powerful parliament in the world at the head of an empire which included within its borders a quarter of the population of the globe.

But it was not implemented because Ulster unionists threatened to 'use all means necessary', including civil war, to stop it being implemented.

This act of treason was expressly supported by Andrew Bonar Law, leader of the Conservative Party, and many of its leading members. These were the official opposition in the Westminster parliament which ruled the British empire.

In contrast to that treason at the heart of the empire by some of its most powerful citizens, the Irish Parliamentary Party was a model of constitutionality and democracy.

They were willing to accept the limited power given to an Irish parliament by the democratically elected government of the British empire.

By contrast, neither Ulster unionists nor the Conservative Party were willing to accept the democratic will of the same parliament.

Scoffing at the fact that two sectarian states were set up on this island as a result of the treason of some of the British empire's most powerful and influential citizens does no credit to Kevin Myers.

He should go back and learn his history. He should learn that 1916 was a consequence of treason by some of the most powerful in the British empire and their betrayal of Irish constitutional nationalism.

A Leavy
Sutton, Dublin 13

Irish Independent