Irish ‘patriots’

Published in Issue 2 (March/April 2020), Letters, Volume 28

Sir,—I have just read Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc’s article (HI 28.1, Jan./Feb. 2020, Platform) about the emergence of the alt-right brigade and wish to thank him for so eloquently and forcefully debunking the narrow definition of ‘Irishness’ which they espouse. I am Irish by choice as well as by accident of birth. As the son of a Welshman, I am entitled to carry a British passport—something which I have never been tempted to do, nor can I imagine any set of circumstances which would tempt me to do so in the future. I am Irish. Ireland is the country to which I owe undivided allegiance. I am proud of what this (ethnically diverse) nation has achieved. I believe that the Irish nation is bigger than any of its factions and that its culture and heritage are bigger than half-baked slogans and knee-jerk reactions to perceived threats. So, thank you, Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, for showing the weaknesses inherent in irrelevant flag-flying—whether it be that of Ireland or the Ivory Coast!—Yours etc.,

JIM REES

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