05 November 2005

Three parties engage in rhetorical bluff



THE recent advocacy of republican ideals by Fine Gael, Labour and the PDs has been shown to be a rhetorical sham by their rejection of the Taoiseach?s proposal to allow limited speaking rights in the D?il to MPs from the North.

In recent months these political parties have felt it necessary to promote themselves as championing the cause of Irish unity at every opportunity.

Note Enda Kenny's insistence on recalling the 'United Ireland' tag once attached to the Fine Gael name; Michael McDowell's reminiscing on his grandfather's republican exploits, and Labour's claim to be the true inheritors of James Connolly.

Yet when a concrete proposal which would advance the cause of Irish unity comes before them, they shrink from supporting it.

Looking forward to an all-Ireland republic, supporting building blocks to unity such as the speaking rights proposal and adopting a political programme to end partition will advance the cause of reunification.

Searching in the history books to justify republican credentials will not.

Connolly said: "Such an attitude of fierce excitement over monuments to dead heroes is the attitude peculiar to all political parties when they have reached the stage of intellectual bankruptcy."

Fine Gael, Labour and the PDs, through their rejection of the D?il speaking rights proposal, have proved that when it comes to supporting Irish unity, they are intellectually bankrupt.

Chris ? R?laigh
St Anne's Road
Dublin 9

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