Friday 13 December 2019

What is a republic?

• I am writing to you to assert several points inspired by your letter of the day by Stephen Brennan this week.

The first issue I have with Mr Brennan's letter is his ability to interpret history from a socio-economic or legal point of view.

His assertion that the modern interpretation of a republic has grown to become that which ". . . concerns the limiting of government, in particular the spendthrift and waste of money . . ." displays, in my opinion, a totally misguided and ignorant interpretation of what a republic is.

My interpretation of a modern republic is a nation that is run on democratic principles where each and every voice of the nation is equal.

I propose this interpretation on the basis upon which the Irish Republic was founded and the safeguards designed to protect these very principles.

This basis is the Irish Constitution. I understand that the vast majority of Irish people know absolutely nothing about the Irish Constitution because, I believe, it has been in Dail Eireann's interest to keep it that way.

I believe this because I have read Article 5 of the Irish Constitution, which simply and completely states: "Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state." My assertion regarding Dail Eireann is, I believe, further proven by another letter you published which asserts that the recently distributed 'guide' to the Fiscal Treaty referendum refers to our republic as merely "Ireland".

According to the reports and interpretations of the proposed treaty, it appears to give an outside power the right to "fine" our nation if we do not adhere to a "shared" fiscal policy. Now you can call me a fool all day long if you wish but that, to me, is the attitude of a bully and the policy of oppression.

Furthermore, I would like to argue that Mr Brennan's assertion that by pursuing "the market economy" we can hope to "create a republic of reasonable and limited Government", further displays an inability to fully appreciate modern Ireland.

That is exactly what the past decade of rule by the Soldiers of Destiny has tried to achieve in the first instance, with total disregard for the second.

A market economy is based on the main pillars of western business: pay as little as you can, charge as much as you can, and keep the difference. I contend that a market economy, and therefore its political system, can never be democratic for this very reason.

Finally, I would like to say this: only a fool would want to be a slave. While I fully appreciate those who know me may consider me such a fool, I will never vote myself and my family into slavery. We as a nation have suffered that fate before and it is for that very reason I shall be voting No.

Dermot Ryan
Athenry, Co Galway

Irish Independent

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