Sunday, November 8, 2015

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Time To Stop Digging

US attorney at law Martin Galvin with a letter in the Irish News on 4 November 2015. It was a reply to D Moore in the same paper on 19 October 2015.

There is an old political maxim that if you find yourself in a hole stop digging. Instead of keeping to that rule, D. Moore (Twisting the facts October 19) chose to bury himself with a dig at a profession whose members have played a crucial role in fighting British injustice. 

Mr. Moore keeps repeating that current Sinn Fein strategy will bring a British withdrawal if we do nothing but follow the leaders. The British have no such illusions. David Cameron formulates twenty-five year plans to make the six county economy pay its way. His priority is bludgeoning through cuts and austerity. Theresa Villiers, like a modern Lady Macbeth, tries to rub away the bloodstains from British hands with rewrites of her Stormont House bill and speeches whitewashing British forces. Why bother if they are on the way out?

Like the Boundary Commission in the 1921 Treaty, Republicans may have again been promised an open door to a British withdrawal. Britain sees a chance to nail that door shut, using their permanent DUP veto to hammer hopes of freedom for another generation. Republicans and nationalists would be foolish not to guard against possible British bad faith with alternative strategies. 

Recently, representatives of the 1916 Societies were in New York to hold one of those public forums, which so upset Mr. Moore. ‘One Ireland One Vote’ is a citizen’s initiative to build national momentum for ending British rule. All Republicans and nationalists can only benefit from strategies which can build upon the inspiration that commemorations of 1916 will provide. Every debate, forum and petition are reminders that the freedom and rights set out in the Proclamation signed by Tom Clarke, are still denied in his county, Tyrone, and five others. 

Perhaps this campaign will not succeed. Perhaps it will never gain the necessary support between voters in the twenty-six counties together with nationalists in the north to secure such a national referendum. However it is difficult to see why anyone but the British and unionists, much less someone who claims to be an advocate for Sinn Fein, would be against public events supporting a united Ireland.

Lastly, Mr. Moore attacks my opinions by attacking my work as a lawyer, saying lawyers “twist the facts” to their own ends. Perhaps he is unaware that the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry was named for a murdered civil rights lawyer. Perhaps he is unaware of the many civil rights lawyers who have battled British injustice in Diplock courts, inquests and judicial reviews. Why does Mr. Moore bring up my profession and why does he think that being a lawyer makes my views or those of other lawyers inferior to his?

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