Plea to Irish politicians -- let the British go
From Eire Nua essays
first published in the 1980's
Ireland, more than most countries, cannot
escape its past. Countless thousands of legal and illegal
immigrants in the U.S. and elsewhere throughout the world bear
testimony to the grim social and economic conditions that still
exists in Ireland for many of its youth. Despite the wonders of
the so-called Celtic Tiger, total dependence on foreign
industries and investment leaves Ireland as vulnerable as ever to
the whims of outsiders. Ireland remains far behind all other
European countries in developing its infrastructure including
roads, water quality sewer and wastewater treatment facilities.
It is not the centuries wonder child.
The Anglo-Norman invasion of eight hundred
years ago changed the face and character of Ireland forever. To
this day its language, literature and songs bear the marks of
centuries of domination and oppression. Ironically, the
Anglo-Norman invasion itself came about as the result of a
personal conflict between two of Ireland's warrior kings, Dermot
MacMurrough of Leinster and Tiernan O'Rourke of Breifne.
After years of conflict and numerous battles, MacMurrough was
defeated by O'Rourke and forced into exile. In exile,
MacMurrough sought and received help from King Henry 11 of
England to regain his throne. Finally in 1169, after several
earlier incursions, the English returned, this time to stay.
By involving outsiders in Ireland's
domestic affairs, MacMurrough in effect committed an act of
treason. That act not only heralded the invasion of Ireland and
its subsequent domination by the English, but also set a
precedent for future would-be traitors to emulate. The use of
outside force to settle domestic affairs was firmly established
in Ireland as a way of life.
At crucial moments in its history, from the
time of the Anglo-Norman invasion to the present time, many of
Ireland's political leaders betrayed Ireland's interests for
those of their English masters. As was the case with
MacMurrough, those betrayals have and continue to be for
personal gain or profit. In repayment, those traitors played the
role of liegeman to their English masters.
The annals of Irish history are replete
with such treasonous acts. As a consequence the people of
Ireland suffered through many pogroms including famine, cultural
deprivation, religious persecution, dispossession and forced
emigration. During these pogroms the people resisted as they
continue to do; never once submitting to the tyranny and
violence visited upon them by their English masters.
In the early years of the past century the
British were forced by widespread-armed resistance to sit down
and negotiate their withdrawal from Ireland after almost eight
hundred years of occupation. With defeat staring them in the
face, the British once again, with the help of their cohorts in
Ireland, managed to retain control over six of Ireland's
thirty-two counties. The treaty that ceded control of the six
counties to the British resulted in two antagonistic sectarian
states. That infamous treaty was one the most insidious of all
the betrayals perpetrated on the Irish people. It gave the
British continuing control over the political and economic life
of the Irish people, resulting in hardship, forced immigration
conflict and economic dependence. The second betrayal was the
so-called “Good Friday Agreement, and the Adams / McGuinness
shenanigans leading up to its implementation.
During the most recent phase of Ireland’s
struggle for freedom much of the world changes before our eyes.
We saw mighty empires crumble, captive nations break free and
apartheid give way to equality and reason. Despite a bloody 35
years struggle, Ireland, one of the longest captive nations on
earth, remains chained to its oppressor.
This outcome could not have prevailed
without the help of greedy and traitorous politicians throughout
both sectarian Irish statelets. It is time for this situation to
change -- for Ireland to be set free, to establish its
Contrary, to those politicians in Ireland
who preach otherwise, this can be done. It is neither a dream
nor an unrealistic expectation, as Ireland today possesses the
people with the will and ingenuity to make it happen. The Eire
Nua program, which is based on a federation of the four
historical provinces of Ireland, offers a plan to achieve this
At this time in history, when old wrongs
are being righted elsewhere in the world, it is time for the
British government to let go of Ireland and time for the
Ireland’s politicians to let them go.
Contributor - Tomás Ó Coisdealba