According to media reports, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he expects to see a united Ireland in his lifetime. I think he’s wrong but he’s entitled to his opinion. However, some of his following remarks are objectionable and need to be challenged.
Varadkar claimed that in a united Ireland “there will be roughly a million people who are British.” That is false. There may – or may not – be a million Irish People who consider themselves British in a united Ireland, we’ll see. But they will be Irish Citizens.
And they should have equal rights with all other citizens. They should have an equal right to vote, to housing, to their language, without any special restrictions, not to mention pogroms – in other words, nothing like the way their statelet treated its large Catholic minority.
I agree with Varadkar that the quality of a country should be judged “by the way it treats its minorities.” So Varadkar, how did and does your Gombeen State treat its probably oldest ethnic minority? You know, the Irish Travellers?
It is true that “a Republican ballad, a nice song to sing, easy words to learn for some people can be deeply offensive to some people.” Presumably he means to Unionists and Loyalists. Yes, and antifascist and anti-racist songs can be deeply offensive to fascists and racists.
It is also true that some people in the Southern States sing songs about the Confederacy and Robert E. Lee and call it their culture. And the comparison fits – but not with Republicans but with Loyalists!
It’s not Irish Republicans who spread racism and sectarianism: the Republican creed came into existence precisely against sectarianism. And we know Varadkar actually knows that because not long ago he made some remarks about the wide embrace of the Irish Tricolour.
The Irish Tricolour: a flag presented to revolutionary Irish Republicans by revolutionary French Republican women in Paris in 1848. Not a flag of monarchism, sectarianism or collusion with imperialism or colonialism.
While we uphold Republican principles we don’t have to apologise to anyone, least of all in our own country, Varadkar. It’s you and your party (and the rest of them serving the Gombeen class who threw away independence and slaughtered Irish Republicans) who need to be ashamed.
|Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the current Coalition |
Government, who made the remarks this week. (Photo sourced: Internet)
People living in Ireland can think and feel what they like, good or bad. But in public, we will celebrate the valuable things in our history and culture. And we’ll do so proudly without apology to anyone.
On the other hand, public displays of Orange sectarianism, racism, homophobia, fascism and anti-LGBT targeting won’t be tolerated in an independent, reunited Ireland. Not for one minute.
⏩Diarmuid Breatnach is a revolutionary, singer, writer and anti-imperialist socialist activist.