What an extraordinarily disingenuous statement by Leo Varadkar at Glasnevin Cemetery that Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith did not believe there was no alternative to war.
Other men were at the heart of the republican movement, and their stated aim in word and deed was to regain control of Ireland and oust the British by force.
Griffith was the founder of Sinn Féin and Collins was the mastermind behind every violent IRA military attack against British Crown Forces.
Cases are innumerable, but the destruction of the customs house and the annihilation of the Cairo gang on the morning of Bloody Sunday are two of the most extreme.
Indeed, after Collins’ squad wiped out the entire cadre of British spies, he wrote: “I have sufficient evidence to satisfy myself of the atrocities committed by this gang of spies and informants. Their destruction makes the air sweeter. For me, I have a clear conscience: there is no shame in tracking down the spy and the informer in war. They destroyed without a trial. I repaid them in their own way.”
Collins was red tooth and claw and the historical facts are clear, recorded and irrefutable.
That Leo Varadkar, 100 years later, is trying to rewrite history to gain political points is an insult to our intelligence, and that just doesn’t work.
Maurice O’Callaghan, Stillorgan, Co Dublin
Fine Gael’s blood is blue with propaganda
It looks like the Fine Gael party with a barbecue and screening of the film is going all out to lay claim to Michael Collins MichaelCollinsalthough the Big Fella was dead before Fine Gael was even formed.
I think you call that propaganda, which Eoin O’Duffy, the founding member of Fine Gael, was good at.
Tom Mitchell, Loughrea, County Galway
Tánaiste’s distortion of the truth in commemoration
With no little dislike, I am compelled to write following the comments of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at Glasnevin Cemetery (“Leo Varadkar aims at Sinn Féin during Glasnevin memorial service for Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins”, Irish Independent15th of August).
For many years I accompanied my father-in-law to church services and then to Glasnevin Cemetery for the annual memorial service.
In all those years there hasn’t been a whiff of the grandees of the Fine Gael, let alone heaven over Fianna Fáil.
But this year the leaders of these two decaying parties will be at the Béal na Bláth gathering to commemorate Michael Collins, who was murdered there on August 22, 1922.
One would be at a loss to understand this apparent conundrum – until one looks at the most recent election results.
It is understandable that Micheál Martin would use any lowly opportunity to use a platform to commemorate Fianna Fáil’s atrocity.
But at what price Varadkar? It’s not that he doesn’t understand Arthur Griffith or Michael Collins; it is that he chooses to ignore the truth of early 20th century Irish history.
Griffith’s policies were aimed at dual monarchy, not independence; Collins was betrayed by both Winston Churchill and Éamon de Valera.
Leo Varadkar must – indeed should – know that the Good Friday Agreement would not have existed were it not for Gerry Adams, its architect, who, like Collins, risked his life for his actions.
Unfortunately, as he himself said, Collins signed his own death warrant by going to London and dealing with the duplicitous British government.
In the end there is now absolutely no difference between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and both are politically bankrupt.
However, it is reprehensible that Leo Varadkar would misuse the memory of Michael Collins as a platform to continue the failed political status quo in Ireland.
Harry Charalambou, Muswell Hill, London
The free-for-all synod contradicts God’s message
The warnings about the synodal process seem to have been confirmed by this week’s reports.
Synods have the smack of town meetings, which may be ok in the secular realm but are not appropriate for the church.
We do not associate synods with the Catholic Church for very good reasons.
In essence, they make timeless teachings subject to the whims of the majority at any given point in time. Thus, as whims change, the teachings must change to conform to the prevailing consensus.
This has never been part of the Church’s teaching since the time of Our Lord. This is most vividly illustrated in the case of the woman accused of adultery. The cultural consensus was cruel at the time, but Jesus’ response was totally countercultural.
Despite all attacks, this has remained the time-honoured principle of the Church. Majority rule is not an option. Ironically, much of the early church’s appeal to women was due to Jesus’ “strict” teaching on marriage. His insistence on the duties of husbands and the indissolubility of marriage greatly elevated the status of women.
Of course, the greatest obstacle to the Moloch that appears to be the synod is the words of our Lord himself: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
I don’t know how they’re going to bypass this roadblock.
In lieu of the permissiveness displayed by the synod, perhaps the church should heed the advice of secular commentator Jordan Peterson, whose diagnosis was, “I don’t think you people are asking enough of your people.”
The difficult doctrines must be explained and taught with clarity and compassion. We all fail, but we are encouraged to strive for greatness.
I was always taught that the teachings are like the guard rails on a treacherous mountain road – there to make sure we don’t drive over the chasm. On the contrary, it seems that in many respects the synod is like the highway to hell.
Eric Conway, Navan, Co Meath
Anti-Trump media bias continues unabated
Her editorial (“An Attack on Free Speech That Should Disturb Us All,” Irish IndependentAugust 15) sounds pretty hollow compared to your coverage of events in the US.
Despite an excellent article by Ian O’Doherty on the raid on Donald Trump’s apartment, there has been no follow-up on the issue or on any very important points made there since.
Regarding hating Trump, your newspaper has a constant barrage of anti-Trump columnists constantly attacking him. Where is the balance and the right to get factual reports and not be subject to campaigning by pro-democracy lackeys?
Her Aug. 10 editorial referred to “impact on American democracy” while ignoring the fact that democracy is not now evident in the media, which is completely biased in favor of Democrats and refuses to report on Joe’s failure to report on Biden’s presidency.
Mary Stewart, City of Donegal
Lacking man power, Utd are now sold out
Poor Manchester United. They don’t know who to buy and now it seems like they want to be bought. I sense desperation. I recognize entitlement.
David Cleere, Gorey, Co. Wexford
When the living room was the place to stand
In Mary Kenny’s article on earlier names given to certain rooms in our homes (“Dear old dining room has goes well out of fashion in the design of modern homes”, Irish IndependentAug. 17), she added the term “salon,” which she said visitors would be properly entertained.
In our parents’ house, my late mother always referred to this room as the “living room”.
In those bygone (and fortunately very fortunate) days, there was often a time when my mother was hostess when we youngsters were expected to dutifully stand at ceremonies—ironically, in the living room.
Tom Gilsenan, Beaumont, Dublin 9
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/leo-varadkars-attempt-to-rewrite-history-100-years-on-is-political-point-scoring-at-its-worst-41924396.html Leo Varadkar’s attempt to rewrite history 100 years later is political scoring of the worst kind