Sir, - Isn't it a sad reflection of our times when someone feels obliged to say "most of those who commented on the film were pleased with it and I do not want to be critical, but . . ." (my italics). (Aodogan O'Rahilly, letters, December 4th).

Leaving aside historical inaccuracies or interpretations, I feel obliged to say now that it wasn't even a particularly good film. Especially since I have recently seen The Treaty on RTE once again. In terms of giving entertainment and important historical insights, the TV drama was far superior and much less costly.

The film was too fast moving, over hyped, over expensive, mediocre, with some excellent vignettes. The drama was more studied. Though a little slow at times, it was a varied, balanced attempt both to inform and to entertain on many levels, with some fine acting.

It must have been awful for Brendan Gleeson to play second fiddle to Liam Neeson, and for poor Malcolm Douglas to have just a brief moment of press ups and a prayer in a park before being shot. How much artistic pride did they have to swallow for the financial rewards?

What does it all say about today's Ireland? What is Neil Jordan trying to do? Why are so many people afraid to be honestly critical these days about so many things? Yours, etc.,

York Road,

Dun Laoghaire.