Letter: Ireland is not 'mad', but a reality Britain must understand

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The Independent Online
Sir: In his article 'Mad Ireland should get real' (10 August), Bryan Appelyard portrays all the worst colonial stereotypes about Ireland and the Irish and offers no real analysis of the past 25 years. Mr Appleyard includes every colonial cliche about the Irish - mad, violent, bloody, irrational, illogical, ignorant, drunken, can't be trusted - while the English are presented as tolerant, neutral, well-meaning, peaceful, torn between two unruly children and, of course, always knowing what is best for the Irish.

Ireland is neither mad nor illogical, but a reality for Irish and British people. Gerry Fitt was wrong: the issue is not about teaching tolerance to the Irish, but of the English understanding how they have contributed to the creation of what Northern Ireland is, and how history now demands a different and imaginative response in working out a political solution.

Yours sincerely,

PATRICK REYNOLDS

Irish In Britain

Representation Group

London, N19

10 August

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