Calling foul over SF ‘house-training’ comments


Sir, – In his article “The reality  is that Sinn Féin still needs to house-trained” (Opinion, July 23rd), Newton Emerson could have made the same arguments without the use of the highly offensive phrase “house-training” in relation to Sinn Féin, and what he says is the need for it undergo this be become “acceptable”.

This is not only an insult to the Sinn Féin party, but also to the nationalist community in the north, most of whom support Sinn Féin, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people in the south who voted for Sinn Féin in the last election.

But then if the offensive phrase was removed from the article, there wouldn’t’ have been really much point to it, as it seems to be conceived for no other reason than as a calculated insult.

Newton Emerson should be reminded that the only party in Irish history which proved itself to be utterly unfit for government in any civilised way was the Ulster Unionist Party which ran the six counties for over 50 years.

When the civil rights movement exposed its malpractices, its master, the then British government actually began a process of “house-training” by removing the worst excesses of unionism, as these had become a cause of great embarrassment once the international community became aware of what was going on. But up until that point, successive British governments didn’t really care what the unionist regime did. They could befoul the six counties anyway they wanted.

Part of that befoulment included the ritualist insulting and humiliation of the nationalist people. But this still continues, whether it is Orange bands playing outside Catholic churches or the “curry-my yoghurt” type remarks we have had to endure from the DUP.

Newton Emerson’s comments are a continuation of this tendency with this latest two-fingered salute, but  at least he shows where he is on the political spectrum. – Yours, etc,  


Dublin 2.