I only recently became aware of THE DUBLIN REVIEW OF BOOKS, a periodical (weekly or monthly?) available free on the ON LINE.  It contains many excellent long reviews of interesting books on many subjects, which I may possibly read in full before either I or the lockdown expire.

One essay entitled THE LONG ROAD TO PEACE, by John Swift, a former Irish Ambassador to Cyprus, the Netherlands and to the UN (at Geneva) covers  two books by Graham Spenceron  the inside workings of The Irish Government, covering the periods from Sunningdale to The Good Friday Agreement and  from The Good Friday Agreement to the Collapse of Power Sharing, published by the ManchesterUniversity Press.

What impressed me most in the ex-Ambasador’s  essay was how he shares the shock/horror of the late Seamus Mallon at Tony Blair’s statement that he met with Sinn Fein because the IRA had guns.

For me their attitude begs two questions –

1. Would Irish men or women, Kings, or Queens, Archbishops (e.g. Lorcan O Tuathail), Clan Chieftains, nationalists, democrats, or republicans of anymstripe, have negotiated with English or British rulers or agents, these past eight and a half centuries, had the latter been armed merely with Mallon’s or the ex-Ambassador’s moral scruples?

2. Might the answer to Question 1 be  useful to Slow Learners?

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