Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Myers misses real definition of republican

Kevin Myers (Comment, January 4) writes of his outrage at the section of society that appears ignorant to the crimes committed in the name of Ireland, which certain elements of the political classes do not wish to solve.

He is right to question the suitability of people for politics who still have questions to answer, not solely of their roles in the Troubles, but as to how they can claim to represent a people they so amorally attacked in that time.

But I find his comments on the wider republican movement most unwelcome and unfair.

Justifying a broadside at a political philosophy he neither supports, nor understands, by the actions of the few who use 'republicanism' as a cover for criminality does much disservice to the good work of true republicans.

Mr Myers allows thugs, brutes and criminals to keep their self-appointed titles of 'republicans'.

These people are inconsistent to what it means to be a republican. Irish republicanism was founded by Protestant Theobald Wolfe Tone, and the United Irishmen on three simple principles: liberty, equality and fraternity.

Contrary to what Mr Myers would have us believe, being an Irish republican was never about taking up arms, but has always been about implementing these three principles.

Constitutional republicans have been in the Dail since the 1920s.

EOIN NEYLON

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