Friday, February 16, 2001
Ireland, again

This is a reply to the e-mails logged on the site last week, from the "heterodox Iristh Catholic. I must stress that posting a viewpoint does not mean that I agree with it:

I know I shouldn't but I would like to reply to the idea voiced by some of the other e-mails you posted that suggested the dramatic decline in the size of the Protestant community in Eire was not the result of systematic official discrimination by Dublin.

I promise to be brief -- or as brief as I possibly can.

Eire actively promoted policies of discrimination against Protestants.

First, the constitution of Eire was sent to the Pope for approval that it was Catholic enough.

Second, the government of Eire approved the Catholic Church's position that children from Protestant-Catholic marriages must be raised Catholic.

Third, the government of Eire not only declared Catholicism the state religion but gave the Catholic Church effective control over education, press, broadcasting, and laws on marriage and contraception. Blasphemy, as defined by the Catholic Church, was made a crime. This was a direct assault by Eire and the Catholic Church on the right of Protestants to practice their religion, run their schools and publicly express their views.

Fourth, the government of Eire promoted religious apartheid to insure Protestant could not attend Catholic schools and civic associations.

Fifth the government of Eire did not believe Protestants were "Irish". Dublin viewed and treated Protestants as potential "fifth columnists". When Erskine Childers, a Protestant and an Irish nationalist, was assassinated, the assassination was justified by Kevin O'Higgins, Minister for Home Affairs, on the ground that Childers was an "Englishman". Yet, de Valera was considered "Irish" even though he was born in Brooklyn, USA and had a Spanish father. Until recently Protestants were effectively barred from holding the office of President, Prime Minister, or head of the military or police forces.

The creation of Northern Ireland as a State for Protestants was simply copying what Eire had already done of making the "south" a State for Catholics.

It should be remembered that between 1542 and 1760, first the Papal States, then Catholic Spain, and then Catholic France invaded or attempted to invade Ireland on least ten occasions. In other words, there was, on average, one invasion every 21 years.

The stated purpose at least for Rome and Madrid was to extirpate the Protestant religion from Ireland then use Ireland as base from which to invade England and extirpate the Protestant faith there. The problem was that for Rome and Madrid extirpating the Protestant faith meant exterminating the Protestant population.

Since independence, the government of Eire successfully realized the first objective in the "south" and has ever since endeavored to realize this goal in Northern Ireland.


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