POLITICS IN NORTHERN IRELAND
- [To the Editor of- the SPECTATOR.] - SIR,—As an Ulsterman who has Studied the history of his Province and who has had a lengthened ministry in the Irish Presbyterian Church in Ulster and afterwards-. in this city, may I join Mr. Shane Leslie in thanks to you for the admirable Irish Number of the Spectator issued on April 11th? The Irish articles, whether descriptive ; Political; economic,. Or Sporting, which you secured for your readers Will do much to make a friendly people and a land of beauty and romance, better known.
It was a pleasure to read Mr. Leslie's correction- of Lord tharleriiont's explanation of the political divisicin in Northern Ireland as a racial cleavage ; the majority in the six counties being Anglo-Saxon and the minority "who look forward to a union with their 'kinsmen in the Irish Free State" being Celts. It is surprising to find a statesman in the position of 'Lord Charlemont promulgating so se/ions and- So harmful an error.
The -two-races theory is a popular fallacy Unsupported by students of Irish history. Our historians inform xis that the Anglo-Norman settlements of the twelfth century were carried -out in the' three southern provinces of Ireland brit riot in Ulster which remained Celtie for four centuries under the O'Neill§ and their allies. Ulster's turn for settlement came through the " Plantation " in the seventeenth century.- At that' period large communities' of Scots (Celtic by race), as well as-English, arrived in Ulster. Many of these communities were made up of Scottish' Presbyterians driven from their country by Prelatic persecution. All these Scots were Celts and it is their descendants who form to a very large extent -the
membership of the Presbyterian Church in Ulster. -
In J. B. Woodbrirn's book, -The Ulster Scot, published in 1914, it is Pointed out that mien the kngliah who settled iri parts of Ulster in the seventeenth century had as much Celtic blood as Teutonic.' To this day the Celtic prefix to surnarnes, "Mac," is found in d large proportion Of Ulster
Presbyterians, clergy and laity. Mr. Woodburn is a careful historian and makes his position clear on the first page of his hook where the following affirmation appears. "There are not two races in Ireland : the whole population is a mixture of Celtic- and Teutonic, and the Ulsterman has probably as much Celtic blood as the Southerner."—! am, Sir, &c.,