Attitudes To Northern Ireland


Sir, - Paul Tanneys' article (November 27th) is half-right in its presentation of a leaked report by the Irish Platform for Peace and Reconciliation.

The article was correct in that the report criticises the Irish State for its historic association of "Irishness" with an exclusively Roman Catholic/nationalist identity and the "airbrushing" out of various other groups including those who fought in the British Army in the first and second World Wars. These, and other actions by the Irish State, helped perpetuate mistrust and division.

The report however, also commends successive Irish governments over the past 35 years for their enormous efforts and increasing dedication to the cause of reaching an understanding on the island. The report also praises the political parties in the Republic for their role in setting aside old party shibboleths in favour of openhanded compromise. The role played by other groups including the European Union, survivors, the churches and prisoners and ex-prisoners is also noted by the report.

The report deserves to be read in its entirety before conclusions such as those mentioned in the article are drawn. - Yours, etc.,

Tony Kennedy, Chief Executive, Co-operation Ireland, Ian White, Executive Director, Glencree Centre for Reconciliation, Upr Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2.