Letter: Ireland's constitutional claims

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Sir: In Saturday's edition (Letters, 27 March), Ivor Stanbrook stated that 'Irish people could strike a real blow for peace by depriving the IRA of all moral and legal justification for its violence, simply by removing Articles 2 and 3 from the Irish constitution'.

This is probably the first time the IRA have ever been accused of being constitutionally minded. If the IRA get any moral and legal justification for their activities at all, surely it comes from the litany of real or perceived injustices that have littered the history of our two islands and not the constitution of a state the IRA do not actually recognise.

It is possible to share an aspiration without sanctioning methods used by those working for a similar end: both the police and vigilantes seek to end crime, but the police would not condone the activities of vigilantes. It may interest Mr Stanbrook that there was no more zealous prosecutor of the IRA than the author of Articles 2 and 3, De Valera, a poacher-turned-gamekeeper par excellence.

Personally I would support the removal of Articles 2 and 3 from the Irish constitution, if only because it might encourage Mr Stanbrook to develop a less superficial analysis of the Northern Ireland problem.

Yours etc,


Tunbridge Wells,


28 March