Obituary: Erskine Childers

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The Independent Online
Brian Urquhart's obituary of Erskine Childers [29 August] contains an error in stating that Childers' grandfather and namesake was "executed for treason by the British in 1922", writes Nigel Jones.

Childers Snr may have deserved to have been executed by the British for treason; as a former House of Commons clerk and Boer War serviceman he served the Empire faithfully before becoming an Irish republican.

However, he was, in fact, shot by the army of the Irish Free State, during the Irish Civil War (in which he had taken the losing Republican side) for the crime of possessing a small revolver, given to him in happier times by the Free State leader Michael Collins.

Many crimes can be laid against the British in the long, unhappy history of these islands: the execution of Erskine Childers is not one of them.

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