Breaking the shackles of Civil War politics


Sir, – Dermot Ryan’s call for politicians to break from the shackles of Civil War politics is welcome (Opinion April 3rd), but his choice of the Labour Party as the lead vehicle for this project is unfortunate.

A cursory look at the history of Labour reveals a deeply conservative party with at best a thin veneer of social democracy.The party has always opted for a supporting role to one or other of the conservative parties,and at times has even positioned itself to the right of Fianna Fáil (no mean feat).

Careerism is not a new phenomenon amongst the Labour Parliamentary Party, the chief characteristic of which has almost always been a complete absence of any ideology beyond a need to attain office at the first opportunity.

Labour has also suffered from a deeply partitionist outlook – in stark contrast to the teachings of its founder James Connolly.

There is no doubt we badly need a credible broad left alternative to the current failed politics that have brought the State to its knees. The best prospect for this coming about is through a Sinn Féin-led Left opposition after the next election.

Hopefully whatever is left of Labour and other Left independents will find common ground at that point to assist in building the alternative that our country so badly needs.   – Yours, etc,


Inis Cluain,

Castleconnell, Co Limerick.