These commentators on Ireland's moral principles - of all persuasions, North and South - have consistently chosen to excuse (if not condone) the actions of the men of violence, on the grounds of a patriotism which is at best spurious. I suggest that a major cause of gangsterism, which Mr O'Toole so deplores, has been the ambivalent thinking, by these members of the establishment on both sides of the border, who, it seems, are willing to accept and defend one form of violence whilst at the same time rejecting, with crocodile tears, another. Mr O'Toole's proposition that "Irish society is learning to look" is only partially correct when the so-called guardians of public morals adopt such a two-faced attitude.
Mr O'Toole seems to suggest that events leading up to Veronica Guerin's awful murder are a recent phenomenon. The ideathat terrorists were, somehow, folk heroes has bedevilled the country for years and encourages common criminals to follow the same bloodstained example.
H D O'Grady
Sheffield, South YorkshireReuse content