Arlene Foster is right to challenge physical force nationalism

First Minister Arlene Foster
First Minister Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster in her article (‘Republicans must not be allowed to shift blame’ February 13) conveys a lucidity, cogency, and forthrightness in terms of morally confronting, and condemning physical force Irish nationalism, sorely lacking from politicians inside the polity of the Republic of Ireland (with the exception of former Irish PM John Bruton).

The politicians in the Republic instead submit to cringe acceptance, and moral abasement when it comes to the dictatorship of 1916 which unleashed devastating forces of death and destruction and undid the heroic political work of John Redmond, and many others, who sought an enduring, and peaceful constitutional resolution to Ireland’s divided loyalties, and ethnic differences.

The newspaper adverts listed IRA men alongside figures from the 1916 Rising

The newspaper adverts listed IRA men alongside figures from the 1916 Rising

This was in stark contrast to the small minority of psychopathic ultranationalist fanatics, who followed the drum and the flag, the gun, and the bomb – a means of operation which they carried into our own lifetimes, with savage and fatal consequences for thousands of innocent people.

The first minister has set a high standard, not only in defence of the ‘objective’ telling of history, and by trouncing the heartlessly cynical, and patently propagandist approach taken by Sinn Fein and its terror wing the IRA, in relation to their terrible past, supported by their cohorts within sections of the media, academia, and in other areas of public life.

Mrs Foster has also set a high standard by staunchly defending the values relating to the force of law naturally intrinsic to any liberal democracy, which must afford the families of the victims of terrorism the right to justice.

This right to justice has always been denied contemporaneously, and by posterity, to the innocent victims, and families, of IRA, unmandated terror, and killing concerning the bloody narrative from 1916 to 1921-23, during which a total of over 6,000 lives were lost on this island, mostly at the hands of the IRA’s, murder machine, and Collins’ special assassination squad in both phases of IRA activity (1916 to 1921, and 1919 to 1923).

This permanent denial of justice is a monstrous crime. That denial, and the morally reprehensible spectacle of transforming the heroic defenders of constitutional democracy into villains, and conversely the enemies of democracy into heroes and patriots, must not be allowed to happen again.

Or, to put it another way, another sow of the same litter must not be permitted to attempt to distort history for ideological reasons, and denude us of the truth relating to the 30 years of mainly Provo driven terror, and murder – as Arlene Foster makes crystal clear in her article.

Sadly my own country – at least on an official level – has learned nothing regarding what 1916 did to this tragic island, in a long past era, and in our own lifetimes.

On the contrary the political establishment desire to bask in an invented romantic noble, and patriotic narrative, which bears no relationship to the brutal reality, and the moral corruption that acceptance of physical force nationalism has done to the Irish national psyche.

It is very important that more voices from within Ulster unionism speak out, unapologetically against the ‘terrible beauty’ of the fascism of the Gael.

Thank you Mrs Foster for a first rate article.

Pierce Martin, Cellbridge, Co Kildare