Page 2, 26th January 1940

26th January 1940
Page 2
Page 2, 26th January 1940 — IRISH PARTITION Only Two Parties

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SIR1--4 am not among those whom your correspondent on the " Irish Question " in the CATHOLIC HERALD of the 12th instant, J. J. Leeming, apprehends may " feel the itch to flay " him. I merely desire to comment dispassionately on his letter.

In enumerating what he submits to be the parties concerned in the matter, he refers to the " Eire Government, representing the people of Southern Ireland," and this is misleading, though I do not say it is intended to be so. The jurisdiction of the Government of Eire, in addition to extending over Southern Ireland, extends Northern I over Eastern, Western and a great portion of Norreland. In fact, it extends father north in Ireland than that of the so-called Government of Northern Ireland. He also states that the parties in the "Irish Question " are, in addition to the above-named, the Catholic people of Northern Ireland, the Protestant people of Northern Ireland, and, finally, the British Government This, I respectfully submit, is wrong. There are only two parties, namely, Ireland and Britain, and I give my reasons for so stating. The same mind, that of Mr Lloyd George, which to-day is discredited with conceiving the terms of the now universally condemned Versailles Treaty and the bludgeoning of Ireland with the infamous Black and Tans, conceived the idea of partitioning Ireland and sue. 'Deeded in having a Bill passed in the British Parliament to effect that great outrage on Irela.nci, one of the oldest and smallest of European nations. And is of interest to note that while that BID was before the Britiah Parliament not one representative from Ireland, either Nationalist or Imperialist, voted for its passing, thereby freeing /reiand from any responsibility for It. The responsibility for this Act, which not only partitioned Ireland but also the ancient province of Ulster, must be accepted entirely by Britain, whose Parliament passed it. It follows then that if the injustice of partitioning her which it perpetrated on Ireland is to be remedied that responsibility also is Britain's. Your correspondent states that the ending of partition would mean the coercing of the Protestant people of Northern Ireland into subjection to the Government of Eire and the Catholic people of Northern Ireland. Coercion is better known in Ireland's history as a British export than as a native product. Becausethere is in the north-eastern portion of Ulster a minority of the population of Ireland-a minority relatively much smaller than the anti-partition minority in that same portion of Ulster-which is unwilling to submit to the will of the great majority of their countrymen cannot reasonably be offered as a justifiable excuse by Britain for thwarting what can reasonably be called the will of the Irish nation. It fa well to remember, too, that throughout the centuries that Britain was able by force to rule all Ireland, right up to the time when she partitioned her, she never manifested any scruple about forcing her rule on those who did not want it. Those who desired It and those who did not were ruled as one people. We are continually being regaled with mans of self-praise by Britain as the defender and protector of the independence of small nations which are the victims of aggression, but Ireland cannot be blamed for regarding aggression simply as aggression even when it is British. As long as Britain maintains the partition of Ireland which she alone enforced she remains an aggressor, and not until she undoes this wrong can it be said of her treatment of Ireland that justice and peace have kissed. (Rev.) JAMES A. SHERLOCK, St. Mary's Presbytery,

Nunequarter, Kircubbin, Co. Down.

— May remind Lord Alfred Douglas that "a very large number (probably a majority) of English and Scottish Catholics " are very ignorant of the matters involved In " partition " or any other aspect of Irish politics, especially those who have never lived in Ireland. An English Catholic lady of my acquaintance was unfeignedly surprised when told of some of the antics of the gentle Orangemen on the twelfth of July, and their discrimination against their Catholic neighbours in " the six counties."

When I went back to Ireland in 1898 after a boyhood spent there, I heard the c

captain of a company of British soldiers tell hie men, on parade, that " we won Ireland by the sword and we keep it by s before him. ord," although lthough there were Irish men standing in the ranks It is this attitude of the conqueror towards the conquered that Irishmen

naturally resent.

May I recommend the perusal of a book on the subject of Ireland by an. English Catholic writer, Mr John Gibbons: Ireland—the New Any.

A. W. HARRINGTON (MAJOR). 122, Hill Lane, Southampton.

Stra-It is some time since I have seen such ignorance gathered up in so small a place as in the two paragraphs frier)" your correspondent Alfred Douglas. His bigotry, both in regard to Mr de Valera and on the partition question, is the only clear part of the article. His reference to Mr de Valera and the Irish Republican Brotherhood is puerile. The true facts are that de Valera was invited to join the LR.B. by McDonagh, and agreed only if allowed to continue the work he was doing as a Volunteer. He was never included as a member, and soon afterwards severed even the nominal connection he had with them.

Feeene Bauman 156, 'York Way, Ni.

Not Divisible

Sin, Let me answer Mr Leeming's question. first by correcting his alignmeat of parties. The issue Is not between the Catholic and Protestant people of any part of Ireland. There is one Irish nation, which includes Catholics and Protestants, who live in perfect friendship in 26 out of the S2 counties. Some of the greatest and best loved patriots-Wolfe Tone and Thomas Davis, to name two-were Protestants from the North, The nation is no more divisible than is Poland or Finland-or England, for that matter. As for Lord Alfred Douglas's splenetie outburst, may I recommend him, as an editor, to check his facts? The Irish Republican Army was not condemned by the Pope-nor was the I.R.A. the same thing as the I.R.B. I suggest also that he should read (with impartiality, if possible), a history of Ireland. EteeN M. POWER. "Woodlands,"

Rotherwick Avenue, Charley, Lanes.

Right to Freedom

Sis,Is almost a tragedy that Lord Alfred Douglas sees Ulster only as part of the British Mirwire and hears it only a•s an echo of England, for until he sees and hears it as the Irish do, as part or Ireland and a haunting echo of her once vibrant voice, he will never understand that it is not a question of whether a small minority is willing to be incorporated in what he calls the Irish Free State. It is a question of a nation's right to freedom. Are the rights of a email minority subordinate to a country's sacred right to unity and equilibrium?

Jemes P, Coircettaida 21, Ranelagh Road, Leytonstone, London, E.11.

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