LETTER:Attitudes to Irish people in Britain

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The Independent Online
From Mr Edward Ebden

Sir: Contrary to Gearoid O'Meachair's sad letter on the plight of the Irish and, in particular, that of the Irish emigrant in Britain today, sadly, I fear that "millions of people" in Britain were not in fact celebrating St Patrick's Day on Friday, except those of Irish descent or connection, despite St Patrick having been born a Briton. The St Patrick's flag was seen flying proudly over Beckenham church in Kent, at least. But one swallow does not make a summer.

This is a pity, as by celebrating the national days of other nations, we the British could better appreciate the contribution given to our increasingly multicultural society by the ethnic minorities, a process that could only enrich us all.

The English could also learn to better appreciate their own national identity by better celebrating St George's day. The enthusiasm spent by the Irish in celebrating their national day can only be of the envy of the English and we could learn much from them to appreciate better our own nation, people and heritage.

On the matter of discrimination, if it can be proved that the Irish are being actively discriminated against, then action should be done to remedy this. I fear, however, that in an age of increasing unemployment and poverty, the Irish will not be alone in the queue.

Yours sincerely,