Wary of Sinn Féin in government?


Sir, – Further to John A Murphy’s “Why we should be wary of Sinn Féin in government” (Opinion & Analysis, July 9th), mainstream Irish political parties react to events. They do not ever pre-empt them. And they will not now. They run around headless chicken-style while Sinn Féin get its troops aligned and ready to march.

There is little point in reminding ourselves of the history of Sinn Féin. Many are sickened by their sympathies and the past deeds of their leaders. That no longer matters. Those who have nothing believe that Sinn Féin will save them. They believe that anything is better than the non-policies of the mainstream parties. And so, they will vote Sinn Féin. And who can blame them?

We must remember that we get the government we deserve. The parties currently in power need to start implementing policies that will help and not hinder the people. – Yours, etc,


Castlegrange Park,


Co Dublin.

Sir, – If Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin (July 12th) really want to alleviate fears about their entry into government after the next general election they should repudiate the violence of the Provisional IRA. For more than a quarter of century Sinn Féin turned its back on peaceful and democratic politics and supported a violent armed struggle that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. Far from contributing to Irish unity the IRA campaign reinforced partition and deepened sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland. As my colleague Prof John A Murphy pointed out, only when the IRA campaign ran into the ground did Sinn Féin enter into a peace process. That process will only be complete when Sinn Féin disassociates itself from its violent history by accepting that the IRA was wrong and those like John A Murphy who supported a non-violent and constitutional nationalism and republicanism were right. – Yours, etc,



School of History,

University College Cork.

Sir, – What is an historian if not a “revisionist” (July 12th)? It is usually said of someone whose politics you disagree with. It’s a cant, lazy term to level at Prof John A Murphy, and unworthy of the intelligence and loquacity of Gerry Adams (July 12th). – Yours, etc,


The Lilliput Press,

Sitric Road,

Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.