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History provides perspective

February 23rd, 2020 8:05 PM

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SIR – Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin considers Sinn Féin ‘not a normal democratic party.’ Fine Gael Taoiseach Leo Varadkar agrees. Do they think it is, as Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Sean Lemass said of his party in 1926, ‘a slightly constitutional party’?

Fine Gael’s predecessor, Cumann na nGaedheal, prior to and during its proto-fascist 1930s ‘Blueshirt’ period, said worse about Fianna Fáil than is alleged today about Sinn Féin. They advertised in 1932, ‘The gunmen and communists are voting for Fianna Fáil today.’ It is acknowledged that Fianna Fáil came to power with substantial IRA support, when the IRA was a mass organisation with thousands of members.

Fianna Fáil’s policies resulted in a huge increase in public house-building and a significant, sustained, increase in the industrial workforce. They were denounced as pie-in-the-sky fantasies that would bankrupt the state.

Cumann na nGaedheal was as opposed to Fianna Fáil’s abolition of the Dáil oath of faithfulness to the British sovereign, as are both FF and FG today to Sinn Féin’s proposal for a border poll.

A knowledge of history and a sense of perspective would not go amiss.

Niall Meehan,

72 Offaly Road,

Cabra, D7

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