Engage with Irish tales of woe


The letters on the woes of the ‘Irish’ at the hands of the ‘English’ (ignoring not only the varieties of ‘Irishness’, and what each did to the other, but the varieties of ‘Englishness’ and the woes of the English and what the English did to each other), that appear in the Letters’ page, from time to time, remind me of the Irish writer, Kate O’Brien.

In her novel “The Land of Spices” she has the English Reverend Mother of a convent in Ireland of a French Religious Order reflect: “The Irish liked themselves, and throve on their own psychological chaos. It had been shown to be politically useless for an alien temperament to wrestle with them ... They were an ancient, martyred race, and of great importance to themselves”.

The latter is what Thomas Stewart (April 14) is up against in his demolition job on Peter McEvoy (April 11).

It is not politically useless to engage with it, indeed it is a necessity if we are to live together for it is what drives Sinn Fein.

W A Miller, Belfast