Comparing poppy to the Easter lily an insult to veterans

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Regarding the letter from Paul Doran, Clondalkin, Dublin published on November 9 2018: Mr Doran denigrates the Irish Justice Minister, Charlie Flanagan for wearing the ‘British poppy’ when he visited Newcastle, Co Down last week.

Perhaps he should have inspected more closely when he would have seen that Mr Flanagan was wearing a ‘shamrock poppy badge’ which was commissioned by the Irish branch of the Royal British Legion in the Irish Republic to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War. The proceeds go to Irish veterans and their families in addition to the upkeep of memorials to Irish soldiers in the Republic. All money remains in the Republic. Many people all over Ireland and beyond will be aware that the Shamrock poppy recognizes and remembers that during World War 1, 300,000 brave Irishmen went to fight with the British Army and sadly almost 50,000 never returned having lost their lives in battle.

Given the history of the Easter lily, its long association with violent republicans, in particular the provisional Irish republican army, Paul Doran’s attempt to sully the poppy by comparing it to the Easter lily is an insult to all veterans, their relatives, all law abiding people, victims and survivors of IRA murders and violence throughout all the United Kingdom and parts of the Republic.

The charade, dishonesty and revisionism does not exist as alleged. All citizens in Northern and southern Ireland and beyond thankfully have the freedom to choose whether to wear a poppy, an Easter Lily, or not, just as Charlie Flanagan has done without divisive criticism from Paul Doran or others. Are we ever to witness the tolerance, respect and equality frequently preached by republicans? I seriously doubt it.