Derek Leinster, who chronicled suffering in Protestant care home, is a hero

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

In the light of the insensitive and ill-informed letter of Dr Niall Meehan of Griffith College, Dublin (‘Letter exaggerates suffering of Protestants in the Republic,’ May 25) and Derek Leinster’s reply (‘Roman Catholics and Protestants were controlled by their clergy in Ireland,’ June 4) readers of the News Letter might also read as a corrective Derek Leinster’s book Hannah’s Shame: A True Life Story (2005).

There they will read what it was like to have had the misfortune in 1941 of being born in the Bethany Home, Rathgar, Dublin 6 and being brought up in Dunganstown, Co.Wicklow and Clonmel, Co Tipperary in a ‘poverty-stricken existence’ as a Protestant and member of the Church of Ireland.

But you have to experience such a life to know what it must have been like.

What does a prelate such as Richard Clarke (Wesley College and TCD), Archbishop of Armagh, know of such a life? And why did the Church of Ireland not lend a helping hand in the midst of his poverty to Derek Leinster and those like him?

If we believed in saints in the Church of Ireland we would regard Derek Leinster as a saint. He is undoubtedly a hero.

Since Irish politicians with the exception of Sinn Fein have not supported his plea for justice in the south, perhaps Arlene Foster can support him from the remote depths of Fermanagh (in the final of the Ulster championship after the defeat of Monaghan in such exciting style).

Memories of the Inniskillings at La Haye Sainte on 18 June 1815. Not to mention the Inniskilling Dragoons in the so-called charge of the Scots Greys.

Dr Gerald Morgan, Fellow, Trinity College Dublin