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No further need to apologise for ‘past wrongs’

I AM pleased to note that Seamus Kearney (Letters, July 14) no longer objects to a visit from Queen Elizabeth next year. However, if his earlier objection (Letters, June 25) to her visit on the grounds that her great-great-grandmother visited here in 1861 does not constitute “digging up the past”, then I have no idea what this phrase means.

Similarly, his current references to “her ancestors’ acts of tyranny”, to her ancestors who “conquered and exploited this country” means that again, contrary to his protestations, he continues to do so.

I am reminded of the classic scene from The Life of Brian when John Cleese asks his band of revolutionaries: “Apart from the hospitals, the roads, the laws, etc, what have the Romans ever done for us?” British rule in Ireland bequeathed to us good as well as bad. Is Mr Kearney so deluded as to think this island was some kind of paradise before the British arrived, or that it would have been had they never arrived?

I would hope that, in fact, Mr Kearney’s views are not “shared by a majority of people here”. Because if the queen may visit only on condition that she apologies for “past wrongs”, then the invitation is an empty one.

Tony Blair has already apologised for the Great Famine. David Cameron has already apologised for Bloody Sunday. How many more apologies do we need?

JJ McGrath



Co Tipperary


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