Saturday, November 21, 2009

Has Ireland been enslaved again?

Regular Thronistas and let's face it, with the numbers of links I provide to it, even casual visitors will know that I am a regular reader of the on-line version of the Irish Independent newspaper, and in particular their (in my view) star columnist, Kevin Myers.

One of the reasons I read it so often - every day, really - other than to get my regular fix of Myers' often trenchant views is that as an historian, I have a significant interest in modern (i.e. 20th Century) Irish history and as such, it intrigues me to read about current Irish politics, which are, of course the stuff of tomorrow's history lessons.

I have to confess, however, that one thing I have never been able to understand about the history of Ireland is that having struggled for eight hundred years to establish herself as an independent, sovereign country, she chose to subsume herself in a much larger European empire, in which her voice, or rather that of her population, (barely 1% of the total population of the 'EU'), is but an easily ignored whisper, easily and airily dismissed along with those of Lithuania and the like, by their new masters.

That is why the content of this unattributed editorial from today's paper, which is so good it could well have come from the keyboard of Myers himself, struck such a chord with me, because it would appear that there are well educated Irishmen whose views square entirely with my own.

And whilst I consider that a welcome validation of my outsider's view of Irish history, I wonder how it squares with the Indo's pro-Lisbon stance during the recent referendum campaign?

Is this the first expression of regret at having conceded their hard-won independence, or is it a case of the paper wanting to have both the cake and the ha'penny?

Any views, particularly from my Irish readers?

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