Oliver Cromwell: A Protestant Hero?

The following correspondence with reference to Oliver Cromwell appeared in the Belfast News Letter between 16- 22 February 2018

There is no unionist hero worship of Cromwell

In all my seven and a half decades living in Northern Ireland I have never once heard a unionist or Protestant refer to Cromwell as their hero and role model, as indicated by Peter McEvoy in his letter (‘Unionists say no, 368 years on,’ February 15).

However, Mr McEvoy is right in claiming we have not moved on one inch in 368 years.

No doubt he includes in his claim nationalists’ obsession with playing the victim.

Mr A C Thompson, Dungannon, Co Tyrone [16th February]

Cromwell is a hero on the monument to the Reformation

May I refer to the letter of Mr A C Thompson, Dungannon, Co Tyrone (‘There is no unionist hero worship of Cromwell,’ February 16)?

Mr Thompson states: “In all my seven and a half decades living in Northern Ireland I have never once heard a unionist or Protestant refer to Cromwell as their hero and role model.”

May I draw to the attention of Mr Thompson, and your general readership, that Oliver Cromwell is remembered and regarded as a Protestant hero on The International Monument to the Reformation in Geneva.

Mr Thompson obviously needs to create a wider circle of friends.

Brian Kennaway (Rev), South Antrim [19th February]

I was referring to Cromwell and NI

I fail to see the point Rev Brian Kennaway is making in referring to Oliver Cromwell being remembered on The International Monument to the Reformation in Geneva (‘Cromwell is a hero on the monument to the reformation,’ February 19).

I don’t doubt that Cromwell is remembered on many monuments.

Rev Kennaway quite rightly quotes me as referring specifically to Northern Ireland but the last time I looked at a map of Northern Ireland Geneva wasn’t on it.

Mr A C Thompson, Dungannon [20th February]

Cromwell is an International Hero

I am sorry that Mr A C Thompson, Dungannon (Newsletter 20 February) fails to see the point I was making. Perhaps I could have been clearer!

Mr Thompson stated previously: “In all my seven and a half decades living in Northern Ireland I have never once heard a unionist or Protestant refer to Cromwell as their hero and role model.”

In that Mr Thompson may be perfectly correct. But just because he has not “heard” does not take away from the fact that he is. Oliver Cromwell appears on the International Monument to the Protestant Reformation. I would have thought that that fact places him as an International Protestant hero. The word “International”, includes Northern Ireland.

A portrait of Oliver Cromwell also appears on the Orange Banners of various Orange Lodges in Northern Ireland, which perpetuate his memory as a ‘Protestant Hero’, by naming their Lodges after him.

Brian Kennaway (Rev), South Antrim [22nd February]

Share