Fascinating letter in yesterday’s Irish News. It prompts nationalist to re-visit the root of the Republican cause in Ireland:
When promoting it in the pages of The Nation, Davis – the descendant of a Cromwellian soldier – knew what he was talking about when he told his Catholic fellow countrymen that “if you would liberate Ireland and keep it free, you must have Protestant help – if you would win the Protestants you must address their reason, their hopes and their pride”.
And that depended on conciliation. “For if,” he wrote, “instead of kindness by zealous love and by candid and wise teaching, you insult his tastes and his prejudices and force him either to adopt your cause or to resist it… if instead of slow persuasion, your weapons are bullying and intolerance, then your profession of moral force is a lie, and a lie which deceives no one, and your attacks will be promptly resisted by every man of spirit”.
Dick Keane is right when he calls for a “decommissioning (of) our nationalist mind-set”.
But it needs to be replaced by one based on the concept of nationality preached by Davis which would include and actively involve the Protestant unionist/loyalist people.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty