On this weekend (Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th September) in 1979, Pope John Paul II ,the spiritual head of the Catholic Church, became the first Pope to visit Ireland . Those half-hoping that such an influential person might use the occasion to highlight the many injustices inflicted by Westminster on the Irish were to be disappointed : instead , we got the opposite – a pro-establishment , pro-Westminster/Free State and anti-Republican rant , during which , in an address to the Irish nation ,the man said – “”On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and return to the ways of peace.”

No mention of the British military and political presence on the island ; no reference to the (continuing) claim of British jurisdiction over six Irish counties ; not a word about “the paths of violence” which lead to Number 10 Downing Street: condemnation , only , for those attempting to resist the foreign occupation . What a wasted opportunity !

However , we salute those who wear a similar collar and are not afraid to ‘speak’ up – “Sometimes, I’m jealous of the Palestinians. They have one enemy, the Israelis…. The Israelis are stealing Palestinian land and the Palestinians are resisting it and so they fight…”
And so do we….


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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