Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 May 2016

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Murphy should ask 'is south a real republic?'

Published 21/07/2014

JOHN A Murphy, in his article 'Don't fall in SF's web of spin' (DebateNI, July 15), states: "Sinn Fein constantly claim to be more republican than the rest of us." This is untrue. I have consistently stated that Sinn Fein has no monopoly on republicanism.

What is true, however, is that, for several decades, the word "republican" was virtually excised from political discourse in the southern state, not least due to the efforts of revisionist historians such as John A Murphy.

While claiming that "everyone" in the south is republican, John, in the same breath, dismisses the aim of bringing Orange and Green together as "aspirational waffle". This narrow, partitionist view rejects the approach underpinning national reconciliation.

Incredibly, Mr Murphy accuses Sinn Fein of "breathtaking revisionism" for unequivocally supporting a peace process of which we were one of the architects.

He asserts that planning for Irish unity is "a very negation of the peace process". However, the agreement explicitly provides for a peaceful path to Irish unity.

If such a provision was absent, Irish republicans and democrats would not have signed up for it.

Rather than worrying about Sinn Fein, perhaps John should look at whether the southern state is a real republic.

Surely a rights-based, citizen-centred society would not depend on emigration as a policy choice and would prioritise provision of decent public services?


Kildare Street, Dublin 2

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