November 09, 2013

John McCallister - "I am no settler, no colonist"

John McCallister addressed the Collins 22 Society. He said:
 "Firstly, as with Collins, this island is my home. My family has lived in the same town-land for at least the past 220 years. I am no settler, no colonist. This island – its story, its geography, its rich cultures – is my home just as it was the home of Michael Collins."
This measure of language resonates with that of John Hewitt who spoke of being 'no rootless colonist'. John also explained that being British does not preclude you from being Irish. He said:
"George V addressed the overwhelmingly Unionist members of the Stormont Parliament as "Irishmen". It is a reminder of something that unionism has too easily and too readily forgotten: That being a British citizen, supporting the Union with the rest of the United Kingdom does not mean that we do not share values, interests and an identity with the rest of this island. It does not mean that being British excludes or denies a sense of Irish identity."
Read John McCallister's speech to the Collins 22 Society in full here. Also on Slugger O'Toole here. You can also read John McCallister's speech to the GAA Ulster Council here

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