RECENTLY speaking at Berlin’s Victory Column in Tiergarten Park, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama stated, “Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they’ve come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic have found a way to live together.”
Obama is mistaken. In fact more so called “peace walls” have been erected than prior to the signing of the Belfast Agreement.
This is because the agreement does not address the root cause of conflict. Sectarianism has become further entrenched and communities further divided.
There is no possibility of a British withdrawal nor the ending of partition of the Irish nation. Former Republicans under the leadership of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness now find themselves implementing British rule in Ireland in return for crown pay packets. They have no intention of upsetting the status quo.
However, there is an alternative to this. Unlike Adams’ party there are still those who adhere to the Republican ideal and to the bright dream of Easter week, 1916.
Since 1972 Irish Republicans have continued to put forward Eire Nua as the alternative. Eire Nua (New Ireland) is an Irish authored peace plan which is visionary in scope.
It proposes a decentralized federation of the four historic provinces in the context of British withdrawal. Eire Nua, in contrast to the Belfast Agreement would provide the opportunity for a true peace in a free Ireland.
Unfortunately, Eire Nua spokespersons are denied entry to the U.S. in order to keep the American public ignorant of the Irish alternative to continued British rule. If Obama remains ignorant of the truth, is it any wonder the average citizen is also unaware?
Linden, New Jersey
Sticking Up for Irish
I AM hopping mad at the letter written by David Kemp about the situation regarding Father Cathal Gallagher, a law-abiding member of the Catholic Church who has done nothing but good during the time he has spent in the U.S. tending to his parishioners.
The letter writer seems to think that Irish Americans should be equally outraged when other nationalities get caught up in immigration problems, as if it was a crime that we should be upset that a paperwork issue nearly caused the deportation of Gallagher.
Why shouldn’t Irish Americans stand up for each other when we see an injustice, especially one as terrible as what happened to Gallagher? That’s what we do, stick together in times of trouble, and I make no apologies for that.
Mr. Kemp should know that Hispanics do the very same thing, stick up for each other, and good for them, too. He should also be aware that Gallagher entered the U.S. legally, unlike the vast majority of Hispanics living here illegally.
Though I support comprehensive immigration reform and feel sorry for undocumented immigrants caught in raids, why, as Mr. Kemp suggested, should the Irish Voice have covered raids like the one earlier this year in Postville, Iowa? I read about that in The New York Times, which is entirely appropriate.
When I buy Irish newspapers, I expect to read about Irish related issues. There are enough Hispanic and indeed mainstream publications out there that can adequately cover and advocate on behalf of those caught up in raids like Postville.
I wouldn’t expect El Diario to report on an Irish immigrant caught in a raid. Why would Mr. Kemp expect the Irish Voice to reach outside its target audience when there are already so many other media outlets doing just that?
John R. Fagan
Poughkeepsie, New York
Irish Economic Facts
“JUST the facts mam” was an expression popularized by detective Joe Friday played by Jack Webb on the TV series Dragnet, which was a must see every week back in the day. I recalled the expression when I read A.P. O’Maille’s letter “Spain Is Right On.” (July 23-29.)
Just the facts were indeed what Mr. O’Maille gave us in his letter about the collapsing Irish economy, otherwise known as the Celtic Tiger.
It was refreshing to get facts separated from fiction on this matter, especially since the Irish politicians and media had woven both into a seamless garment of fantasy for a whole number of years. This left a lot of us with falsehoods and inaccuracies replacing fact and truth.
In fact these false views were very widespread. I heard numerous American politicians lauding the Celtic Tiger as a glorious example of good economic theory in practice.
I would also like to say that Mr. O’Maille’s letter is not a personal opinion piece. It is loaded with objective factual analysis and gives us the nuts and bolts of the foundations of the Irish economy as a whole.
This is an excellent factual explanation which takes the murkiness out of this subject. It is also self evident that Mr. O’Maille has had formal studies in economics.
Neither is his letter a gloom and doom piece of negativism. He is merely saying to the Irish politicians, face the facts and construct a viable economy around these facts.
There is an old saying that if you don’t know where you are, how can you plan where you are going? That’s reality, that’s positive.
The Irish imagination is a very honed faculty and leads them to exaggerated positions on many matters.
Mr. O’Maille’s letter is a reminder to let the facts just the facts dictate the economic road to follow, and leave the imaginary economic highways to someone else.
Thank you again for the info, Mr. O’Maille
Voorhees, New Jersey
Another Bad Deal
IN the “Ireland’s Eye” in the July 23-29 issue, there was an article entitled “Jobs Going to Immigrants,” where locals attributed not being able to find full and part time employment because of the influx of EU and non-EU nationals.
No sooner than that was out of the box when April Drew reported in the same issue that the new Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen announced on his visit to the U.S. that he would consider a bi-lateral deal which would allow 50,000 undocumented (let’s call it what it really is – illegal) Irish to live and work in the U.S. The bargaining chip in this would be the same amount of U.S. citizens would be allowed to live and work in Ireland.
That means that initially 50,000 Irish would be privy to live and work here along with another 50,000 they would smuggle in, while six Americans that want to live and work Ireland would get to go there.
What a deal! No wonder Cowen’s being considered for the second coming.
IN response to David Kemp’s letter “Priest Treated Very Fairly” (July 30-August 12) comparing the immigration situation of Father Cathal Gallagher, a Catholic priest who was living a celibate life of poverty (not producing any children to burden to the U.S. taxpayer, nor taking any U.S. jobs or social services) to that of criminal illegal aliens who sneak into the country, steal an identity to work illegally and then turn into a huge burden for the country through loss of work for Americans, social services and health care is unbelievable.
If an American citizen sells marijuana (also an unlawful activity) and then ends up in jail, causing their family to lose that income, I bet Mr. Kemp would not be sympathetic at all.
Yet in the grand scheme of things I don’t think the negative impact of marijuana is anywhere near that of someone breaking into the country, stealing an identity and abusing taxpayer funded social services like they’re going out of style.
A member of clergy who is essentially a volunteer with some visa glitches (who entered the country lawfully to begin with) is nothing like an illegal alien who sneaks into the country to take jobs away from American citizens.
Monmouth County, New Jersey