Irish America and modern Ireland

 

Sir, – I am always fascinated when self-appointed champions of tolerance and inclusion engage in condescension and sweeping generalisations of anyone whom they perceive as not chanting their script. A case in point is the article “Irish America does not represent modern-day Ireland” (Opinion & Analysis, March 19th).

Your columnist states that “The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) (sic) met with years of criticism for their exclusion of Irish-American gay and lesbian groups in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan”.

As a national organisation spanning 40 states, the Ancient Order of Hibernians as a whole does not organise parades; individual divisions have and do as independent local community organisations.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians in 1992, the chronological starting point of your columnist’s harangue, directed that any division wishing to organise a parade must do so by forming a separate organisation independent from the AOH. In the case of New York City, the New York City St Patrick’s Day Parade Corporation was formed and is responsible for parade policies, including those that Una Mullally attempts to use to indict the AOH and all of Irish America.

Finally, your columnist’s claim that “Varadkar’s St Patrick’s Day parading was in spite of diaspora’s dogmatism” ignores that the Taoiseach was warmly received by Irish America, including members of the AOH; an inconvenient fact omitted by your columnist. It is ironic that for someone attempting to make the case for “modern-day Ireland” at the expense of Irish America, it is Una Mullally who seems to be desperately clinging to the past in an attempt to indulge her obvious antipathies to the diaspora. – Yours, etc,

NEIL F COSGROVE,

National

Anti-Defamation Chairman,

Ancient Order

of Hibernians,

New City, New York.