I admire the goal of a pluralist democratic republic but reject the sectarian complexion of the term ‘republican’ in NI

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

On Monday I was happy to contribute to the News Letter’s series on legacy.

The print edition of my article used a headline with which I was content (‘Conditional amnesty could break cycle of combatants glorifying their past’) but it was slightly different to a headline in an early web version, which added that this had been said by an “ex republican”.

While it is correct to say that I am former member of the republican movement, I want to make clear that I still fully subscribe to the ideals of people such as Wolfe Tone, Jemmy Hope, Henry Joy McCracken, Oliver Cromwell Bond and other founders of the United Irishmen, who aspired to create a pluralist, inclusive democratic republic.

However, I reject the sectarian complexion that the term ‘republican’ has acquired during the conflict in Northern Ireland. By definition, as a socialist, I do not subscribe to monarchism.

As a democrat, I accept that the future of Northern Ireland is ultimately a matter for people of Northern Ireland.

I hope that clarifies my position.

Padraig Yeates, Dublin