Fr Sean McManus: Faux shock that Mary Lou McDonald was seen marching with ‘England Get Out of Ireland’ banner

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Ending England’s rule in Ireland (often shortened to “England Get Out of Ireland”) is a perfectly legitimate expression of historic Irish-American wishes for Ireland.

Not only that, but using “England” as distinct from Britain makes the point that Wales and Scotland can hardly be blamed for the mistreatment and later in 1920 for the partition of Ireland.

Furthermore, there is no way the unionists/Protestants can claim that such a formulation implies they should get out of Ireland — no more than pro-UK Union people would have to leave Scotland when Scotland opts for independence.

So why is there such faux shock that Mary Lou McDonald is seen marching with the “England Get Out of Ireland” banner in the New York St Patrick’s Parade?

The only real story would be if Mary Lou had refused to march with that banner. After all, Jimmy Carter in 1976 — seven months before he was elected president — famously marched in the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade wearing the button “England Get Out of Ireland.” ... And Mary Lou, the president of Sinn Fein, is not supposed to show such sensibility and solidarity. Are you kidding me?!

Could anything be more ahistorical... And we are told it’s Irish-Americans who are ahistorical regarding Ireland.

Fr Sean McManus, President Irish National Caucus, Washington DC