1916

Published in Issue 2 (March/April 2015), Letters, Volume 23

Sir,—Nothing could be more inappropriate than a joint remembrance of the GPO, 1916, and the Battle of the Somme (Tom Mahon, Letters, HI 23.1, Jan./Feb. 2015). The latter was part of an imperial war. The 1916 Rising was an anti-imperial struggle. Irishmen were persuaded in part by the propaganda of the time to go off to fight for ‘poor little Catholic Belgium’, invaded by the ‘ferocious Hun’. Have people forgotten that in the years 1884–1904 Belgium, also a ruthless imperial power, had slaughtered, tortured or worked to death ten million people in the then Belgian Congo (see Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost)—a holocaust exposed by our own Roger Casement?—Yours etc.,

GERRY McALLISTER
Canada

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