Unionists must take back their Irishness

Dear Sir,

I read with some personal interest the article by Brian M Walker, “A case of mistaken identity” (Comment 22 July)

I recall my early childhood in the 1950’s being brought up in what is now called ‘loyalist north Belfast’. At family get-togethers, before the interruption of television, the evenings were passed with a sing-song. I can well recall the songs sung; all the great Irish (not nationalist/republican) songs: Molly Malone and Galway Bay etc. In those days we saw ourselves as much Irish as anyone from Cork or Kerry.

All this changed with the forty years of murder and mayhem of IRA/Sinn Fein, and the Irish dimension was bombed out of Ulster Protestants/Unionists.

Brian Walker was correct to point out that Brian Faulkner had objected in 1949 to the title ‘Republic of Ireland’. I wonder what he would now think of the assumed title of ‘Ireland’ which the republic has now adopted.

I was born on the island of Ireland, baptised into, and subsequently became a minister of, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. In 1964 I joined the Loyal Orange Institution of Ireland. I do not need to be threatened with bomb or bullet to make me an Irishman.

Like the Ulster poet John Hewitt, I am; “an Ulsterman . . .an Irishman. . . British. . . European”. Take any one of those designations away and I am less of a person.

Yours etc.

Brian Kennaway (Rev)

Retired – PCI.


This letter appeared in the Belfast Telgeraph on Monday 29 July 2019