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Modern-day Ireland a far cry from Parnell's dream

Published 09/04/2015

We are fast approaching the centenary of Ireland's fight to be an independent nation, where arrangements are already under way to remember and honour those who sacrificed their lives to achieve this aim.

Besides being both a daunting and practically impossible task - I cannot mention each and every one who gave their life to this cause, but, as I share Stewart in my family name, it goes without saying that Charles Stewart Parnell interests me most. In Parnell's epitaph, he more or less states that every man is entitled to his own national freedom, a freedom that an independent Ireland would give. Hence it became this great man's aim.

It must, then, be fair to assume that Charles Stewart Parnell's thinking would have included any nation on this planet that desired such freedom and national, independent identity. It goes without saying, therefore, that this must include today's foreign nationals resident in Ireland. Today, Ireland has a multi-cultural population, many of whom are bona fide Irish citizens.

I cannot help but wonder how those who sacrificed their life would feel if they saw their Ireland today: Ireland's land of indigenous people, swamped by people of every class and creed, ruled and governed by a European Union, with not even a currency to call their own.

This makes me ask: did Messrs Pearse, Tone, Parnell and countless others lay down their lives for this? Somehow, I do not think so.

No nation can claim to be independent when they have no national currency and where their country is governed by foreigners.

Those who claim differently are only fooling those who believe them.

HARRY STEPHENSON

Kircubbin, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph

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