A dominion once again?


Sir, – Former TD and MEP Gay Mitchell (“Long shadow of the Treaty talks”, Letters, May 26th), posing the idea of a Canada-style dominion status for the whole of the island in return for Irish unity, asks if “we in the republic are ready to incorporate Britishness as a legitimate identity on the whole island?”

This is not the first time Gay Mitchell has floated this idea.

In August 2006 at the annual Michael Collins/Arthur Griffith commemoration in Glasnevin Cemetery, Mr Mitchell asked “How would we in the Republic of Ireland of the 21st century accommodate the Irish unionists today?”

Mr Mitchell suggested that the Irish Government might consider a role for the British monarch in a new all-Ireland state, perhaps even a role as joint head of that state to accommodate those Irish who also see themselves as British and have a strong attachment to the crown.

Mr Mitchell regarded Arthur Griffith’s “Hungarian policy” of a dual monarchy as considered and imaginative.

Gay Mitchell’s floating of the possibility of a type of joint sovereignty with monarchical Britain is repugnant to our republican and egalitarian ethos. This suggestion openly challenges the continued existence of a Republic of Ireland separate from Britain.

Mr Mitchell’s suggestion of a Canada-style dominion status would be a retrograde step which would have the potential to turn this State once again into a devolved British colonial administration.

Ironically, it was a Fine Gael taoiseach, John A Costello, who in 1949 ended the last British link over most of Ireland. It is imperative that we ensure that some in modern Fine Gael do not try to undo that achievement. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.