8 November 2007 Edition
Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please
Just a few words of respect and remembrance for a fine and inspiring Irish republican. I think that despite all the legendary stuff from the early days and his iconic status, even among British soldiers who served tours of duty here, I will value him for his work in conflict transformation and also his commitment and that of Briege, to Sinn Féin’s electoral development given the unfashionableness of South Antrim and the attacks on himself and his family of which one occurred allegedly only last week with an alleged attempt on the life of his wife. Let us not lack courage or conviction in being bold again in the future to continue to put Sinn Féin into new places in Ireland and serve Martin’s life work and the respect he earned even amongst his political enemies with an enthusiastic approach that he always brought be it in drama or community activities in his later years. May he rest in peace.
Cathal Ó Donnaile,
It was with great sadness that I heard of Martin Meehan’s passing. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him many times over the last decade through Noraid events and personal travel. The Republican Movement has suffered a great loss and my condolences go out to his family and comrades.
I will always recall my last memory of Martin with great pride; I was seated a couple of rows behind him at last August’s Feile “West Belfast talks back” event when he deflated the gas bag that is Senator Harris by declaring that he was proud to have been an IRA man. That’s the kind of man I knew Martin Meehan as – a stand up guy to the end. He will be sorely missed.
Revisionists and Coolacrease
The recent Hidden History program on RTÉ about the incident at Coolacrease during the Tan War has once again brought revisionism into the public eye. Led by Eoghan Harris, they scream about ethnic cleansing and religious persecution. In spite of evidence to the contrary, they parade third generation family hearsay as fact and condemn written records as whitewashes and cover-ups.
No family wants to admit that their ancestors colluded with the crown forces. It is much easier to claim that they were persecuted for their religion than to accept that deceased loved ones informed, aided and abetted the Auxiliaries & the Black & Tans.
Better to blame the Republican forces that were only enforcing and defending the wishes of the Irish people than to accept that their family had taken the oppressors side in the war for independence.
It is however, a regrettable truth that a very small number of people at the time took advantage of the situation and engaged in persecution of innocent Protestants for bigoted and discriminatory reasons. They were the exception and whenever their actions were discovered by central command, they were called to account for their crimes. To call these few criminal acts, quickly quashed by the leadership, a program of ethnic cleansing is classic revisionism of the worst kind.
People of all religions have contributed to Ireland’s quest for freedom. In fact some of our greatest heroes were of the various Protestant faiths. Revisionists like Eoghan Harris, contrary to their claims that they are healing divisions between the various religions by their actions, are instead giving the hate mongers ammunition for their efforts to keep us divided. We must resist them before their efforts sabotage the reconciliation that has been so long in coming.
Questions over death
I commend the dignified reaction of the family of the late Derek O’Toole who was killed by a car driven by an of duty Garda who himself must deal with this terrible tradegy, but there are questions that need to be answered and I am surprised that it has not received more media attention.
Why was an off duty Garda driving a car when he had 3 pints and 2 bottles of beer which to me seems incredible when one considers his position, and how did he manage not to be over the limit and what are the Garda authorities going to do about this?