Irish schoolboy writes to Queen Elizabeth about returning Northern Ireland – and gets a reply!

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30 Responses

  1. GKButler says:

    Liv, why so angry and bitter?

  2. GKButler says:

    Beautifully written, and a keen sense of humor.

  3. GKButler says:

    Why be so nasty! I believe Paxil is made in Ireland, get a script.

  4. Heather Edwards says:

    A young Irish American who went on to become President fought in WW2

  5. Julie Hayward says:

    “Straightforward” no it cannot be – and maybe it is still too soon to let go of past injuries – I wouldn’t be too thrilled to be a peace with anyone who murdered my family members either. Perhaps dredging up history might be unwise – or perhaps it could bring understanding of what and how events happened. Even looking at the symbols of the red hand, the star of David, the Orange society, now shouts of the manipulation of Ireland by many including Randolph Churchill. Still I had no knowledge of these things until a few months ago, and from the safety of Australia where the ancestors fled, I am so grateful that they came here. Chasing family history from a mongrel bloodline drags my heart in many directions.

  6. Julie Hayward says:

    All very interesting comments, thanks. I recommend FutureLearn.com free course run by Trinity College Dublin: Irish Lives in War and Revolution 1912-1923. It is 6 weeks – but be prepared to spend many hours doing it – and join about a thousands from around the world, and an amazing number from Ireland, digging through history that they never learnt in school. It is a balanced presentation though, so we glimpse the British side of life and thinking, although it is very difficult not to share the great sorrow of Ireland’s yearning for independence. Perhaps the Brexit vote shows Britain has learnt to want freedom too.

  7. Louise says:

    I am in same position al great grandfather and no idea which county he was born as I was adopted and would love to know where he was born 1860 as Michael Mulligan (Aloysius) all I could find out that he is born in Ireland

  8. Kate says:

    Will,
    The maltreatment, cruelty, and homicide of Native Americans was not done by Americans but by those who left their countries for “religious” freedoms, for freedom, food, and by those exiled from their native Motherlands.

    Therefore, recall the makeup of Americans, for we are the extensions of many countries, including Ireland.

  9. Liv Thomas says:

    Totally agree, Will. I find that Americans, especially those of Irish heritage, are firmly rooted in the past and think the rest of us are too. There’s a lot of hypocrisy and also a lot of ridiculous rhetoric because although I am strictly pro-reunification, and have no illusions about Britain’s history in Ireland, I think some Americans are way too quick to give their opinion on the subect without considering what the people of Ireland actually want. Most of them are way too intelligent to think that with the way things stand at the moment, it couldn’t happen without a lot of bloodshed. The Republic really doesn’t want all that aggro!

  10. Anne Margaret (McNellis) LaTour says:

    My great grandmother Margaret Melley was born in Northern Ireland in 1853. She arrived in America in 1870 when she was 17. I know nothing about her parents, what County she lived in or her 17 years in Ireland. Truly hard to find any information

  11. karen nieto says:

    As a Native American living in Belfast, l can empathize with the different views on the division. Before moving here l was not aware that NI was part of the UK. I actually come here from one of the many reservations in the USA. The program l am a part of, had me take an orientation on cultural sensitivity before placing me here. I thought it comical that they felt l would not have any idea about the subject. It was more of a history lesson rather than an awareness of current views, which is pretty much how Natives are looked upon. Yes we have come from long history of struggle and genocide, but we are trying to overcome the past through education and preserving our culture. Our progression as a nation is becoming successful and more independent from the gov’t. I guess what l am trying to say is that being Native American is what l am, but it does not define who l am.

  12. will lankstead says:

    It makes me want to puke everytime I hear any Americans hypothesising about Ireland and how bad Britain had treated their closest neighbour. And how they as Armchair Republicans pontificate about giving the North back.
    I’ve lived in Ireland for twenty years and ofcourse believe that there is only one island of Ireland, it’s not a true geographical border. But, before ANY Americans start criticizing other people they should look inwards at themselves with their treatment of the indigenous people….Native Americans.

  13. Liv Thomas says:

    Straightforward is the last word I’d use. In an ideal world perhaps but really, when are people going to start offering constructive suggestions as to how reunification can be achieved – preferably suggestions that wouldn’t entail massive loss of life.

  14. George W. Ireland says:

    England from their Parliament to the monarchy has lied for 600years. If the Queen and Parliament both said they were withdrawing tomorrow I would fly back to my name sake and wait to count all who left. I also believe they should leave the way they took Our land with only what they could carry as they ran my fa.ily out and off our land. This land was taken not bought. We had to sneak out through Scotland to get to America alive. Our only pay back was that we have fought in the American Revolution and every war this country has had since. I returned in1967 and 1973 just to stay up with current politics. I found it rather odd that the floor councilor in my college dorm ( odd that the non American councilor at the University) was from Sussex, England and according to a girl friend I had in the regisgries office was that he was getting his masters degree in physical education and had retired from the SAS. She warned me that she would be fired if someone in the office found. I loved making his nervous has hell. All I had to do was to tell someone on the floor that I had heard from kin in Northern Ireland. Two weeks before Easter I took 30 days sick leave. AS soon as I returned he stopped by my room to let me know he was relieved that I was better and back in school. Forgive me I have a sadistic since of humor. I firmly belive the true Irish would have a completely peaceful transient if allowed to.

  15. Gavin says:

    While the US could have intervened in 1939, it is fact that the prime minister of England at the time (I believe it was Neville Chamberlain?) knew what Hitler was up to and did nothing to stop him. At least not until Hitler threatened England. The other aspect was that the US was sending much needed supplies to the allied cause before they were drug into WW2, a situation that had Hitler trying to blockade ships on our side of the Atlantic.

  16. George Ireland says:

    I am what my name is and all the records of my ancestors indicate we left Ireland through Scotland to stay alive. England has no right to one ounce of Irish soil. As far as the blood shed upon its return we have had to fight to stay alive through out history. My family fought in the American Revolution and every war our country has ever fought. We or I would not run from this one either. We were on hand in 1967and1973 for those minor disagreements as well. The vote is for those living there but I couldn’t possibly understand why the real Irish men and women would not vote for it. I intend to return again while I still breath, if knot my son and his family shall. God stand with all the Irish bless and keep them free and safe.

  17. Michael Mckibbin says:

    Very well written and very true all over the world

  18. Anne else says:

    Well said

  19. Cheryl Innes says:

    It’s all about power, greed, and money. She stays out of anything political? Really

  20. Liv says:

    Re WW2 and the USA ‘saving England’…what about France, Poland and all the other countries in Europe threatened by Hitler? Why didn’t America step in to save those too – preferably in 1939. How many lives would have been saved then? Maybe the concentration camps wouldn’t have existed. For all of England’s undeniably shameful history, WW2 wasn’t part of it.

    But aside from all that – I am pro-unification, but can we be realistic – Americans in particular are very good at saying N.I. should be given back – but how should this be done? Do lives matter so little? If Ireland was just given back, the bloodshed would be horrendous. To achieve unification peacefully, there would need to be a referendum at first, which would likely result in a majority for staying in the UK, as apart from the Protestant majority, there are also Catholics who want to remain. So ‘giving back’ would be going against the wishes of the majority…hardly democratic. Of course, there is the historical injustice which some would say doesn’t give Protestants the right to refuse – except that the Protestants who live there now, though descended from Plantation (yes, that was another British abomination), are hardly to be blamed for it. (For the record, I have little time for the Orangemen and all they stand for). However, if you are of the opinion that those people were merely invaders and their descendants have no claim, then how does this fit with settlers to the USA and their treatment of the native Americans – virtual genocide over a period of years. Would Americans be happy to ‘give back’ America?

    To reiterate, I am pro-reunification. I am pro-Ireland. I believe that eventually, there will be a majority vote to return to the Republic – but saying NI should be ‘given back’ is ludicrous. It’s not practical and would have a very bloody outcome.

  21. Paul Dicken says:

    A few comments from a Welshman who believes in a 32 county Ireland. 1) Buckingham Palace always answers letters; however, the Queen sees only the tiny number personally. 2) The reply was accurate. The decision is the Government’s regarding Northern Ireland, following a referendum where a majority want to make the break. 3) It is wrong to keep talking about England – it is only one part of the UK. If the UK votes to leave the EU, it will trigger another Scottish referendum and, I believe, ultimately lead to the break- up of the UK – to the benefit of a united Ireland.

  22. Graeme McManus says:

    being of Irish decent i agree that it should be given back

  23. Liv says:

    Im not disputing that NI should be part of the Republic…or that Britain has a shameful history. Realistically what do people think would happen in the North if it was given back? How should it be done? The first step would surely be a referendum which would probably result in a vote to remain in the UK because most Protestants and even some Catholics want this. In future years this could change but right now it would be a vote to stay. If returning to the Republic was enforced there would be a return to massive bloodshed. There is always a lot of rhetoric about this but I never see any discussion on the practicalities.

  24. Lee green Darey says:

    A Nation Once Again. A Nation Once Again. Ireland long a province be a Nation Once Again.

  25. Frank Helin says:

    I applaud the Queen for at least providing a reply but, it is incredibly disingenuous for her to take a pass on behalf of the royal family. In the US we tend to think of them as pretty people that have cute babies and ignore the reality that they own their history.

  26. Bev McGuire says:

    My husbands family are McGuires from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. It is part of County Fermanagh which is still “owned” by the British. The British have pretty much erased all traces of McGuires from McGuire Castle which is now named Enniskillen Castle. My family is from England & I am ashamed of what they have done & continue to do to Northern Ireland. My husbands family did not leave Ireland because of the potato famine or for jobs. They left due to religious persecution by the British. They took land that had been in the family for generations & they could no longer own it nor were allowed to work unless they agreed to forgo their religious beliefs & worship the Church of England. They are erasing all traces of Ireland in those counties. The British are stuffed bullies & need to give those counties back to Ireland. I admire this young man for speaking his piece about it to the Queen. He was far more polite than I would be.

  27. Brian Sheridan says:

    Rose that’s why the United States of America had to save England during WW2. Oh by the way there were many thousands of Irish Americans fighting to save the English. After England slaughtered many of Irish babies, Childern, women and men of Catholic faith.
    How the English sold the Irish as slaves to several countries. I’m Irish American and proud!

  28. Kim McGrath says:

    England has relinquished many of the lands it had taken! I do so wish they would give Northern Ireland back to Ireland!

  29. Nancy Kelly-Bushly says:

    All Ireland belongs to Ireland, not England. Let’s those 6 counties return to the Irish people. The Queen could have forwarded that letter to whomever was in charge of this issue. Instead of a bland answer. Which is bitter to my ancestors.

  30. Rose Mackey says:

    Out of the mouths of babes. It’s so straightforward. Ireland is Ireland it’s not Britain x

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