Sir Michael O’Dwyer and India

 

Sir, – There was much more to Sir Michael O’Dwyer than his ill-judged support for fellow Irishman Gen Dyer’s order to fire fatally on demonstrators at Amritsar (Irishman’s Diary, March 30th).

Certainly Sir Michael was an unashamed imperialist but of the kind who was concerned for the welfare of the Indian people and the protection of weaker elements among them, such as widows and the Untouchables, from the harsh treatment meted out to them by their compatriots. His memoir India as I Knew It is a classic of imperial history. His family history The O’Dwyers of Kilnamanagh is as vitriolic an indictment of the English plantations here as has ever been written. Sir Michael’s abiding love of Ireland led him to send his son back to school at Clongowes (with which his old school Tullabeg had merged in the 1880s). – Yours, etc,

CHARLES LYSAGHT,

Merrion,

Dublin 4.