Irexit and Irish nationalism


Sir, – I enjoyed Fintan O’Toole’s article regarding an Irexit (“Irexit would be the end of Irish nationalism”, Opinion & Analysis, February 13th). I agreed with almost everything he said, apart from the claim that Britain never experienced dependency. Yes, it did! When it had to humiliate itself by begging the US for assistance in both world wars. When it made a final throw of the dice in 1956 at Suez, it was dependency on the same source that forced it to abandon its criminal invasion of Egypt after a few days, and write finis to its empire on which the sun never set.

I also seem to recall the IMF having to come in and straighten out its economy back in the 1970s.

Was it an American diplomat who famously said “Britain has lost an empire, but has not found a role”? The search goes on! – Yours, etc,



Co Cavan.

Sir, – Fintan O’Toole reminds us that “the logic of Irexit would be for Ireland to rejoin the UK” and quotes Sean Lemass’s declaration that “our destiny is bound up with that of Europe”.

In relation to Brexit it is of interest to quote the Conservative party manifesto of 1983 when Margaret Thatcher was at the height of her power.

“The European Community is the world’s largest trading group. It is by far our most important export market. Withdrawal would be a catastrophe for this country. As many as two million jobs would be at risk. We would lose the great export advantages and the attraction to overseas investors which membership now gives us. It would be a fateful step towards isolation, at which only the Soviet Union and her allies would rejoice.”

Those quotes from former high priests of political orthodoxy in both countries put present-day pronouncements by disciples of Brexit and Irexit into perspective. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.