We must not undo Costello’s achievement

I WONDER is the Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny attempting to pilfer the republican glad rags of the soldiers of destiny? Speaking in Dáil Éireann, Mr Kenny responded to proposed European Commission legislation requiring eurozone states to submit their respective budgets to Brussels for pre-approval. Mr Kenny said this would be tantamount to “handing over sovereignty and the running of the country to the EU”.

I agree with Mr Kenny’s view on the importance of Ireland’s sovereignty as it is pivotal to regaining our prosperity and exercising our role in world affairs. Ireland’s sovereignty is indeed sacrosanct, probably because we had such a long and hard battle to secure it, and because we were a colony for so long we take the exercise of our political power seriously and value it very highly.

Perhaps then Mr Kenny might explain comments made by FG MEP Gay Mitchell on August 20, 2006 at the annual Michael Collins/Arthur Griffith commemoration in Glasnevin cemetery when he suggested that the Irish government should consider a role for the British monarch in a new all-Ireland state, perhaps even a role as joint head of state “to accommodate those Irish who also see themselves as British and have a strong attachment to the crown”? Perhaps Mr Kenny should insist that Mr Mitchell submit for pre-approval any future comments he may be considering making on Irish sovereignty. This proposal is probably the first time that any Dublin politician has openly challenged the continued existence of the Republic of Ireland state separate from Britain.

Irish separation from the embrace of the British polity and the existence of a republic are non-negotiable basic principles. Ironically, it was a Fine Gael Taoiseach John A Costello who in 1949 ended the last British link over most of Ireland. It is imperative that we ensure that some in modern Fine Gael don’t try to undo that achievement.

Tom Cooper

Delaford Lawn

Knocklyon

Dublin 16

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