‘Anger still seethes on the streets of Derry’


A chara, – After reading Eamonn McCann’s article “Anger still seethes on the streets of Derry” (News Agenda, April 18th), I was left scratching my head in bewilderment. Surely the man cannot be serious? It would appear that McCann’s own politics, including the recent loss of his seat at Stormont, has coloured his thinking and he has allowed himself to be swept away in a sea of simplistic conclusions with no basis in fact.

In Eamonn McCann’s world a Tricolour on Martin McGuinness’s coffin signifies approval of the IRA; a killing of a policeman in Derry is selectively chosen to demonstrate that “the people pushed the Provos towards peace”; and Derry “not advancing economically, but falling back” could result in the city returning to violence.

Surely there is some onus on the writer to explain to the reader how such earth-shattering conclusions are reached? McCann makes no such effort whatsoever and all we are given are his opinions, peppered with his politics.

Those opinions, without any effort to persuade the reader of their basis, are wholly unconvincing. I, for one, simply do not accept that a single shout from a “throng of teenagers gathered aimlessly on open ground” means that Derry stands on the brink of violence against the state once again. It is simplistic nonsense.

McCann is entitled to his opinions, however he is not entitled to rewrite history. His casual dismissal of visionary leaders bringing supporters from war to peace as being “far from the truth” attempts to do just that. It might stick in McCann’s craw but people like Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams were visionary leaders and did bring others to peace.

While life in Derry today may not be perfect, there needs to be a context placed around the words of naysayers like Eamonn McCann. That context is internment, Bloody Sunday, collusion and shoot-to-kill – all conspicuous by their absence in your writer’s article.

It is a fact, not an opinion, that life in Derry nowadays is vastly improved on past decades.

“Anger still seethes on the streets of Derry” was the headline. I suspect “Anger still seethes in Eamonn McCann” might have been much more appropriate. – Is mise,


Dublin 14.