Princes and powers have interests, not friends.

When James II was overthrown in England, the Pope sympathised with him. But the Pope was at loggerheads with the Catholic King of France, Louis XIV and allied himself with the usurper of the Crowns of Britain and Ireland, Prince William of Orange.

Cromwell was no friend of the Irish Catholics, but got along very well with Catholic Spain, which he saw as a counterweight to the power of France.

It’s said that some concerns of the Pope were raised with Stalin and that he replied with the question “How many Divisions has the Pope?” In this matter Stalin was no more heartless than most statesmen.

I’ve lived in England these last fifty-four years and been married nearly forty-eight to an Englishwoman, worked, played and partied happily with people of umpteen nationalities and trust and cherish them as friends.

But Princes and Powers aren’t sentimental about the world at large. Nor, often, even for their own subjects or citizens.

I remain a citizen of Ireland, bound both by sentiment and the requirement by my fellow citizens that I be faithful to the nation and loyal to the State.

That does not mean that I hold any love for its Government, or any political party.

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