John Hume, a man of courage and conviction recognised both qualities in Republicans and chose dialogue with Sinn Fein.
Hume was already a big man, but he exposed most “respectable” nationalist and “respectable” Cathoilc spokesmen/women, North and South in Ireland, as pygmies, and some merely as pigs.
I remember Bishop Cahal Daly saying he wanted to talk to Sinn Fein and refusing an invitation to talk with its leader who had already won a Parliamentary election. At the time the Bishop was being gleefully quoted almost daily by the British media for his attacks on republicans.The Bishop wanted to talk at, rather than with republicans. He preferred Diatribe to Dialogue.
When Sinn Fein having established a National Parliament with overwhelming popular support and democratically won local government bodies allegiance to the Republic, two Archbishops , Cardinal Logue in Armagh and Gilmartin of Tuam, needed to be rebuked by THE IRISH BULLETIN (2 May 1921) on behalf of Ireland’s elected Government for describing resistance to British repression as “crime” by Logue, and futile bravery by Gilmartin.
Within weeks Britain was suing for peace with the brave but futile boys and criminals, and a truce came into effect 60 days later.
Eoin MacNeill had earlier told Archbishop Gilmartin that he, and all Irish citizens had the right to shoot any agents of Britain in Ireland who menaced their lives, liberty, or property. Most Irish elected representatives and citizens agreed with MacNeill, Unfortunately most elected representatives in Dail, Seanad, Local Councils, and those in Episcopal, University Faculty and Editors’ Chairs do not
share Eoin MacNeill’s concept of citizenship. MacNeill, when he addressed the Archbishop was a Professor in the National University and a Cabinet Minister in Dail Eireann.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fail had their origins in Sinn Fein and Irish Labour’s most recent luminaries sowed their wild oats in offshoots of that party. But they have long shed its principles.
Which may be why they prefer Diatribe to Dialogue when it comes to a resurgent Sinn Fein.
I don’t know nor care what Varadkar or Micheal Martin or other lickspittles have said about John Hume.