February 22, 2018

Yes James Craig said Northern Ireland was a "Protestant State", but why do we forget de Valera said that Ireland was "a Catholic nation"


Taoiseach Éamon de Valera said in 1951:
"I am an Irishman second: I am a Catholic first and I accept without qualification in all respects the teaching of the hierarchy and the church to which I belong."
Writing in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, George Boyce said of James Craig (Lord Craigavon):
"[James Craig’s] statement in 1934 that he stood for ‘a Protestant parliament and a Protestant state’ must be seen in the context of de Valera’s claim that ‘we are a Catholic nation’ (Buckland, Factory of Grievances, 72), and indeed Craig’s whole career can be regarded as reactive, fashioned in opposition to the claims of Irish nationalism. Yet Craig was on good terms with individual nationalists, and he was punctilious in his dealings with the Roman Catholic hierarchy. But he did little to meet Catholic complaints about discrimination, and by the time of his death there were few Catholics in administrative posts, and fewer in the Royal Ulster Constabulary than there had been in 1922. He had no insight into, nor understanding of, the Roman Catholic mentality, and sought none. In 1938 he told the Daily Express that he was ‘the one politician who can win an election without ever leaving his fireside’ (Buckland, Craig, 122), which sums up both the limits of his ambition and the nature of his political power."
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