| 1.1°C Belfast

Brexit fuel for anti-English extremism, says Irish President Higgins

Close

Reflective: Michael D Higgins said no one’s hands were clean in terms of atrocities

Reflective: Michael D Higgins said no one’s hands were clean in terms of atrocities

Reflective: Michael D Higgins said no one’s hands were clean in terms of atrocities

Irish President Michel D Higgins has warned against a upsurge of Anglophobia in the Republic in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Speaking at the launch of the Machnamh 100 series of commemorative events recalling the Irish War of Independence, Mr Higgins said: "Of course, the British forces were not alone when it came to reprisals and atrocities.

"Violence breeds violence, cruelty is learned and the history of Irish republicanism is one in which callous disregard for human life has been displayed on too many occasions.

"Civilians (have) often constituted the target in what is often termed the 'Irish struggle'.

"War is always ugly and posthumous glorification is neither desirable nor morally sound."

The Irish President also sounded a warning note, remarking on the continued existence of Anglophobia in Ireland and suggesting that spirit had been re-energised by the UK's decision to leave the EU.

"We must also be cognisant of stereotypical depictions of 'the Other' by some of those on the nationalist side as a process of generating a form of Anglophobia which has been utilised and exists in some quarters to this day, and is perhaps being fuelled by the worst aspects and feared consequences of Brexit," Mr Higgins explained.

Machnamh 100 is an initiative created by Mr Higgins to build on his extensive work to date during Ireland's decade of commemorations, examining important events such as the Dublin Lockout, the First World War, the Easter Rising, the Spanish flu pandemic, the election of 1918 and the first Dail.

The seminar series is supported by the Irish Government and the state broadcaster RTE.

The word 'Machnamh' is a Irish term that refers to reflection, contemplation, meditation and thought.

Over the coming year, Mr Higgins will host a series of seminars inviting reflections on the War of Independence, the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations, the Irish Civil War and partition.

The second Machnamh event is scheduled to take place in February.

Its title will be Empire: Instincts, Interests and Power, and it will examine British responses to events in Ireland during the War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

Belfast Telegraph


Privacy