Our successful democracy should be celebrated more

For the past week we have commemorated the deaths of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins. But in focusing on personalities, we may have lost sight of the outstanding achievement of the time – the establishment of a successful independent democracy.

Its principles ensured Ireland had free democratic elections, equal suffrage for men and women (before the UK), a free press, an independent judiciary, a professional civil service, an unarmed police force and a military responsive to the political will of Ireland was subject to the people and not the other way around.

State building was so successful that in 1932 power was peacefully transferred between old civil war rivals. These achievements were not guaranteed and were not replicated by the vast majority of the newly formed states in Europe at the time, 17 of which succumbed internally to either totalitarianism or authoritarian dictatorship.

Our country may have been culturally conservative, but politically, under the leadership of Griffith and Collins and their supporters WT Cosgrave, Richard Mulcahy and Kevin O’Higgins, we have built a successful, strong liberal state that champions law and order rather than politics violence sets in.

We must do more to recognize, appreciate and celebrate this achievement.

Jim O’Leary

Dublin 16

Red teeth and claws? There may never have been a need

Maurice O’Callaghan (“Leo Varadkar’s attempt to rewrite history 100 years later is political scoring at its worst,” Letters, August 20) challenges the idea that there was “an alternative to war.” could to gain independence for that country.

For example, in support of his statement he cites “the historical facts” that “Collins was red in the teeth and claws”.

Mr O’Callaghan seems to forget or ignore the fact that between 1912 and 1914 the Imperial Parliament in London passed an act giving the whole of Ireland self-government with a Parliament in Dublin. This was supported by almost all Irish nationalists at the time, including Patrick Pearse.

The only problem was that the Imperial Parliament refrained from implementing its own law and instead imposed a boundary on the island of Ireland. If the Imperial Diet had implemented its own law, it can be argued that nobody would have had to blush.

Anthony Leavey

Sutton, Dublin 13

It’s time for a united republic with a merger of FF and FG

With a Fianna Fáil Taoiseach and Fine Gael Tánaiste addressing them, could the Michael Collins centenary commemoration be a clear sign that civil war politics is now over?

Whatever may be said about a united island of Ireland, it is now time for a united republic through a political union between the two parties.

Joe Harrison

Spanish Point, Co. Clare

We should give our athletes a fair sporting opportunity

Winning an Olympic, World or European medal or two is never easy and every one won should be cherished. These events receive global attention and help keep Ireland in the limelight…

If we are really serious about international sport, we should reconsider our support and stop or at least reduce support for our indigenous games, which are of no interest to anyone outside of our own diaspora.

It should be obvious why countries of similar size continue to outperform us in virtually every sport, except maybe boxing.

In the meantime, we must rely on our newest Irish citizens to fly our flag on podiums around the world. You are really welcome.

David Ryan

Co Meath

Here’s my little guide to this and every budget

For many years the result of the budget has been the same for me – a pint more or less a week. I’m curious if it will be different with this one!

Michael Foley

Rathmines, Dublin 6

Rain’s return evokes the genius of a farmer with JFK

With the long hot spell now over and the rains returning, this is reminiscent of a story told during the late US President John F Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in 1962 about his ability to predict rain. “Well,” replied the farmer, “if you can see the mountains it is a sign of rain, and if you cannot see them it is raining.”

Leo Gormley

Dundalk, Co. Louth

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/our-successful-democracy-ought-to-be-celebrated-more-41927012.html Our successful democracy should be celebrated more

Fry Electronics Team

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