It was 1916 that ended any chance of Irish unity, not Bobby Sands

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

One tragically deluded man, and his comrades imprisoned on terrorist offences, starving themselves to death “made a united Ireland less likely?”

These are the words of Innocent Victims United spokesman Kenny Donaldson (August 15).

With the greatest respect to Mr Donaldson I find his view demonstrates a woeful naivety concerning the political, history of this island.

Whatever prospect for a united Ireland in the fullness of time that may have existed during the Home Rule era, the 1916 insurrection un-did, all that John Redmond had achieved, and its myth scorched the entire island, igniting further violence in 1919, and again in 1922.

The romantic mythical power of 1916 – rather than the actual event – killed ‘’ stone dead,’’ any prospect of a United Ireland.

Northern Ireland had been brought into being “as a separate legal entity,’’ on the 3rd of May 1921, under the Government of Ireland Act of 1920.

Under the same act (though in a purely titular sense) Sinn Fein claimed electoral victory within the 26 counties.

However unlike the new Northern Ireland – inside which democratic elections took place in 1921 – ‘no elections’ took place within the 26 counties.

Sinn Fein-IRA simply stated they had won, and with guns in hand, walked into power.

Though at that time the IRA was militarily defeated (see Richard Mulcahy comments regarding the IRA’s defunct military capacity in early 1921) they were nonetheless capable of inducing terror into civilians, and forcing them into submission.

Sinn Fein-IRA were thus able to stage – in effect – a coup d’etat, in May 1921, and from a strategically weak military position.

The British government following on from the 1921 de facto IRA coup, began negotiations with Sinn Fein in mid 1921.

This policy move infuriated the British Secret Service who had irrevocably damaged the IRA, through infiltration, and bribery, weighing down the terrorist body with spies, and informers.

British Intelligence had primed the IRA for complete destruction in the field, all that was required was a final blow by the armed forces, but Lloyd George’s appeasement ended that.

The Republic of Ireland is stuck in the mythical time-warp of 1916 – as former Irish Attorney General Paul Gallagher has argued.

The 1916 commemoration blood fest road show, funded to the tune of €26 million sacrificed logic, to a wish list, and as a consequence truth in history is the lie, and the big lie is the truth (highly Orwellian).

Bearing all this in mind to argue that Sands made “a united Ireland, less likely”, –- inclusive of the IRA’s murder campaign – is plainly untrue. Such a possibility of unity was gone a long time before Bobby Sands ever drew breath, or before the first shot was fired in 1969.

It died as previously stated in the ruins of Dublin brought about by the 1916 insurrection – an evil scenario called into being by a tiny group of fascist Fenian fanatics against the will of the people.

Pierce Martin, Celbridge, Co Kildare