Anthems and divisions


Sir, – Joe O’Toole states that “language has been one of the collateral casualties of the Troubles” after declaring that the British national anthem, God Save the Queen, was “meant to be a national anthem for all the [British] people” (“DUP and Sinn Féin will never bridge North’s divisions”, Opinion & Analysis, January 29th) . This is incorrect. It was not meant for Catholics in Britain, who were disenfranchised when the music was composed in the 18th century. One of the verses states “Rebellious Scots to crush”, so it was hardly language meant for the Scots.

Then he goes on to say that “Nationalism is a nasty and uncomplicated political philosophy”. Nasty it can certainly be, even when it is unavoidable, but not always. But is Joe O’Toole making the case that nationalism is uncomplicated?

Perhaps we should all watch our language. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.