Cutting Through McNarry's Insults

A letter from Martin Galvin published in the Irish News on New Year's Day, 2019 under the heading "Time for new policies which demand respect for Irish national rights and advocates."

Re: David McNarry-Mary Lou and Leo relentless in causing division (December 12/2018) 

David McNarry 's exasperation with those thinking Ireland should have its say about Brexit, reminded me of Leon Uris' fictional Unionist MP, Hamilton Walby, in the novel Trinity. Walby pompously extols British rule to croppy constituents, unaware that his speech reminds them of being oppressed. McNarry pompously says "butt out and let go of the border", unaware he reminds us of what we have been saying to Westminster since partition.

Mr. McNarry makes no distinction between Dail political parties, scolding Fine Gael and Sinn Fein, and presumably others in between. They are all 'bitter', 'arrogant,' 'relentless in causing division', allied with 'Brussels bully boys' in 'a war of anti-British, anti-unionist agitation'. Why try persuasion and miss a chance to insult nationalists?

Cutting through the name-calling, Mr. McNarry thinks it is ridiculous to see the Irish take the border "which never figured in the referendum debate" and "plank it center stage as a blocking mechanism". McNarry is correct that Ireland was given little say and less thought in the referendum by little Englanders who imagined Brexit heralding a return to Empire glory. Millions in the twenty-six counties had no vote. Enda Kenny was reduced to appeals to the Irish residing in Britain.

The six counties, like Scotland, rejected Brexit. These majorities were dismissed. Arlene Foster lectured that no region within a country can veto the wishes of the majority of the whole country. Foster was then first minister of a six county region within Ireland whose founding principle is that a British backed unionist minority vetoed the all-Ireland democratic vote whose centenary we celebrated this past week, and can forever veto any all-Ireland vote.

There was no shortage of voices arguing that Britain's exit from the European Union threatened untold economic consequences for Ireland north and south. Irish advocates highlighted disastrous trade and travel restrictions, potential losses of EU funding and recourse to European Courts.

They "never figured" in the Brexit debates only because they were ignored. Why should disastrous consequences for Ireland be allowed to get in the way of imagined Empire glory?

Mr. McNarry resorts to childish name-calling because those advocating Irish interests about Brexit can no longer be ignored. How dare Ireland "plank" its own national and economic interests in the path of British interests? How dare Ireland join "Brussels bully boys" in negotiations, instead of being bullied by Britain?

If Mr. McNarry's dismissive name-calling represents the broader unionist perspective, after decades of outreach policies, it is time for new policies which demand respect for Irish national rights and advocates. 

Martin Galvin is a US Attorney-At-Law.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

6 comments to ''Cutting Through McNarry's Insults"

  1. I hear this too often :

    “...little Englanders who imagined Brexit heralding a return to Empire glory...”

    But surveys and polls before and after consistently return sovereignty and immigration as the prime reasons why the British voted leave. Instead of insulting them, why don’t Irish Unity advocates ignore what a hostile media tells them are the motives , and try and piggyback their own sovereignty concerns on the back of them. Claiming the British are too dumb to grasp sovereignty just invites comparisons to the equivalent Irish claims, it’s a strategic dead end.

    The EU has bankrupted us, yet those who couldn’t perceive or resist the PSF sellouts of the early nineties now have the utmost clarity on what is best for Ireland with Brexit. We need new thinking and new approaches, as comforting as visits to a museum of ideas may be.

  2. "Millions in the twenty-six counties had no vote"

    They did, it was called the Treaty of Nice and it was Dublin's surrender of Sovereignty to the EU.

    Why should the UK feel guilty about refusing the same junta?

  3. Ps Speaking on those terms and slightly unrelated to this post ....I know we have the Lilly at Easter, but what about something specific for the Blanketmen on 14th September (Keiran Nugents first day in Blanket) ? Like some small patch of plain (brown) cloth worn on the lapel ? It should be a homemade item, with no central organising body to exploit for their own ends independent of any current political parties. Affixed with pin or sticky tape. I think something like this just ensure the maximum possible engagement at entry level. I wonder if that’s something others think is a good idea?

  4. The European Union has its democratic deficits like all governmental institutions but rather than it being a junta, Steve R, it is an association of (as it stands) 28 liberal democracies, the elected governments which duly nominate their EU Commissioner
    . Yes the European Commission has a monopoly on initiating legislation but the European Parliament has the power to veto legislation and nominees for the Commission.

    But of course Brexiteers never let the facts get in the way of their victim English nationalist narrative.

  5. Martin needs to explain why a “cultivated” populace in the islands North has vital and decisive input to a British plebiscite (Brexit), but not to an Irish one (GFA) ?

    If a people’s lack of comprehension in the complexities should render the result void, should we then remove the democratic franchise from those with low IQ’s? Those who can’t speak in the host tongue (English in this case) should surely be excluded automatically, since their grasp of the issues will be at or below the threshold of those who Martin imagines did not grapple with the economic concerns he thinks should of been parsed into any evaluation of staying or leaving.

    David Cameron, most of the print media, the BBC, most business leaders, most MP’s , nearly all foreign MEP’s and Barack Obama (to name but a few) had tried to explain repeatedly, aggressively, the economy should of been the prime concern in the vote too, so he isn’t alone there at least.

    This could of been an opportunity for Ireland, but by allowing ourselves to be used as a tool to shaft a country whose people we share so much good with for the benefit of a group that removes democratically elected leaders, and vetos others national budgets as a matter of course, is a typically self defeating response from us.

  6. Barry,

    "Yes the European Commission has a monopoly on initiating legislation but the European Parliament has the power to veto legislation and nominees for the Commission"

    Marvelous, now how many UK Mp's are there voting for UK only interests in that EU Parliament pray tell?


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