Sinn Féin ‘house-training’


Sir, – Bravo to Newton Emerson for his sardonic and realistic take (Opinion, July 23rd) on Sinn Féin’s quest for power, which so upset Owen Bennett (Letters, July 28th). As Emerson hints, the “republican movement”, rather like Donald Trump, can dish it out but can’t take it; unfortunately, in both cases critics have an embarrassment of ammunition.

Republican activists, to use Owen Bennett’s expression, “befouled the six counties’ — and points east — with a trail of 1,800 corpses over 30 years, a record over which Sinn Féin staunchly stands (Up the ’Ra!). Memories of this may have something to do with the fact that three-quarters of our electorate can’t bring themselves to vote for them. The house-training still has some way to go. – yours, etc,


Co Dublin.

Sir, – I want to express my disgust at the use of language employed by Newton Emerson when he stated Sinn Féin required “house-training”. This term was first used against the party a number of years ago by former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble. It had supremacist connotations then and it has supremacist connotations now.

Let us not forget that the colonisation of Ireland was based on and propagated by racist ideologies. This was driven through the practice of sectarianism which is rooted firmly in the process of British imperialism in Ireland. All of this was justified and advanced by a racist ideology that suppressed the indigenous population on account of their supposed moral, intellectual and other failings.

I am deeply shocked that a newspaper which argued eloquently against the recent killing of George Floyd would utilise what is essentially racist terminology. – Yours, etc,



Co Louth.