Chipping away at Ireland’s sovereignty

The National Day of Commemoration — on the first Sunday of July each year to remember those Irish who fell during both world wars and on service with the United Nations — is most welcome.

The barbarism inflicted on our great-grandparents’ generation during the Great War is at last being given official State recognition on this day.

It is important that the memory and sacrifice of these men is protected from those would make political mischief out of them. Honouring the Irish war dead should not be confused with honouring the British Army.

It is disappointing, therefore, that there is still a persistent campaign aimed at forcing the full participation of the Irish State in the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremonies of the Royal British Legion.

This was further highlighted by the unveiling of a plaque in Galway recently to commemorate Galway’s Great War dead. An Irish Army colour party was in attendance, as was the British Ambassador, David Reddaway, and Gaeltacht Minister Éamon Ó Cuív.

What an unusual country we have become. Our army and Government participate in events to commemorate the armed forces of our former colonial overlords. Ireland is changing the way it projects itself politically and symbolically in order to accommodate aspects of political Britishness.

This process manifests itself in the acceptance of titles and awards by Irish citizens from the British monarch. In addition, monuments to Sir Francis Drake and Queen Victoria have recently been erected here. This is an infringement on Irish sovereignty and an attack on the republican and egalitarian ethos of Bunreacht na hÉireann. Is it not time that the Irish Government stood by the Republic?

Tom Cooper

23 Delaford Lawn


Dublin 16

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