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Ireland’s slow march towards maturity

THERE they go again — Jack Lane and Tom Cooper banging the old drum of nationalism and Stalinism (Letters, October 20).

They castigate those who rightly honour those Irishmen who fought in various wars.

Young Irishmen joined various armies, not just British, but also US, Australian and others. By our history the majority enlisted in the British army, some out of adventure, more out of necessity and more out of loyalty. In the First World War many joined because they saw it as their patriotic duty with Home Rule on the agenda.

They came back to a different Ireland and many were treated disgracefully despite the fact that a considerable number fought in our War of Independence.

In the Second World War many Irish also enlisted and helped to fight the most evil regime ever seen. How much more honourable was this than many in the IRA who frolicked with the Fuhrer

I am glad to say that in Co Mayo President Mary McAleese recently opened a garden of remembrance to our native sons (and some daughters, too) who died in various wars.

Reading the names of the dead one is struck by the ordinary names you see just like those you would meet every day here now.

Both Mr Lane and Mr Cooper should come and visit it — they would go away humbled and proud.

In any event, surely it is not a crime to honour and pray for the dead especially at this time of year. In fact it is a very Christian thing to do, not furtively and in secret.

Brendan Cafferty

Creggs Road

Ballina

Co Cork


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