Sir, Conor MacCarthy (May 5th) may very well take umbrage on behalf of Sinn Fein to being referred back by Ben Briscoe to the historical links between the Old IRA and Jewish liberation movements, but his curious over reaction to a passing comment fails to address what seems to have been the Deputy's basic point while they may now adopt a generally knee jerk anti Israeli attitude on almost all occasions, the radical Irish republican movement has, in the past, acknowledged a basic empathy with the Zionist state.

Perhaps it might be more fruitful to look forward to the day when Sinn Fein, in asserting its belief in supporting human rights throughout the world, finds itself able to demonstrate against the brutalities of regimes such as the Syrian and Iraqi dictatorships. I suspect we shouldn't hold our breath. Yours, etc., Brighton Gardens, Rathgar, Dublin 6.