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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: October, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: A President Unpartitioned?
"'This is the Republic of Ireland 2011—not Northern Ireland'. The Taoiseach will forgive me if, by way of introduction, I adapt this line from his celebrated speech on church-state relations because it sums up the reasons why Martin McGuinness is unfit to be President…"

That is the opening of Professor Emeritus Ronan Fanning's contribution tot he anti-McGuinness election campaign in the Sunday Independent of 25th September. Fanning dismisses the raking over of details of the Northern war by other anti-Sinn Feiners on the ground that this will not damage McGuinness's prospects with voters who have come on the scene since McGuinness became the most effective Man of Peace of our time and place. McGuinness, he says, can only be damaged by "clinical" opposition, and therefore he deplores "rabid denunciation".

Here is the "clinical" case...

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From: Irish Foreign Affairs: Editorials
Date: October, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Nationhood, Legitimacy, Sovereignty & Statehood
On the morning that the Libyan Government troops entered Tripoli, Radio Eireann gave a potted history of Colonel Gaddaffi’s career, in which it said that the Colonel had “come to the aid of extremists in many countries including the IRA in Ireland” .

Did it forget that the “extremist” IRA has for many years been a pillar of the Northern Ireland Government, giving the region the first reasonably stable and representative devolved Government it had ever had, and that it was through its “extremism” that it had arrived at that situation?

It is entirely in accordance with the nature of things that stable government should be the product of successful “extremism” . The modern world came about through the success of one extremist act building on another. It was brought about through a succession of wars waged by Britain over three centuries, none of which was a war of defence against an enemy threatening to invade it…

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From: Church & State: Editorials
Date: October, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Some Home Truths About State And Church
In modern democracies the populace has structured public existence in the form of political parties. It does not, as in ancient Athens, exist as a general assembly of itself. It is divided into parties in order to have durable political existence in large states—and by the standard of ancient Athens the Irish Republic is a large state.
Memory is said to be indispensable to human existence. Political memory, which is indispensable to development in the State, is maintained by political parties—or else it lapses. It is certainly not maintained by lectures in the History Departments of Universities, whose content is in extreme flux.

The party-politics of the Irish state was determined by the way the system of government was re-made according to a British ultimatum in 1922. The part of Sinn Fein which submitted to the ultimatum was established in power by British arms and was placed in control of the State direction of national life: the part which would not submit was subordinated by military action and its representatives were excluded from the Dail for many years by means of the Oath to the Crown that was insisted upon as a ritual of admission.

A competent Anti-Treaty Party was formed on a basis of Republican sentiment and, despite all the obstacles placed in its way, it won a General Election ten years after its defeat and went on to be the hegemonic party in the state for the next three generations...

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: September, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Left No Alternative
Can self-denial be the basis of success in democratic politics?

If it can, then Fianna Fail is assured of a bright future.

It denied its history under Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen. And it is now actively destroying its party structure—which carried a sense of historical orientation with it, despite all that its leaders could do to it. Micheál Martin is modernising the party by abolishing its internal life and subordinating it to his extended-family caucus in Cork city.

The Irish Times naturally encourages it on this line…

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: August, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Summer Manoeuvres: Presidency
The function of the Presidency in the state is to represent the past in the life of society. It is an institution without either legislative or executive powers. Creating the future is the business of the Dáil. But the future is a modification of the past—except when some catastrophic general upheaval brings about a kind of Year Zero in which the past has no relevance. And the Dáil at present seems to be adrift in the present with little sense of the past, and therefore little sense of a viable future line of development. A Presidency which made a point of representing the past would therefore play a particularly useful part as ballast that would keep the public mind on an even keel.

The big event in the life of the next Presidency will be the centenary of the 1916 Insurrection. A Fine Gael Minister has expressed the hope that it will not be a militaristic commemoration. The state has in recent years been wallowing in the celebration of British militarism. The British war of destruction on Germany and Turkey has been presented as Our War. But the war that was actually our war must not be celebrated because it was a war against Britain. And yet it is only by entering the realms of fantasy that one can think that an independent Irish state would have come into being and been acknowledged by Britain if it had not been established by the use of force that Britain was unable to crush. Britain was not going to give up anything to mere votes...

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