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30th Jul 2018

PIC: People Online Not Happy With Headline Saying This Person Is UK’s Version Of Michael Collins

Darragh Berry

People were a bit taken aback when they opened up The Times on Sunday.

Writer David Quinn’s piece (subscription needed) contained the headline: “Theresa May is the UK’s Michael Collins” and added that the “Prime minister’s willingness to compromise deserves [the UK’s] support.”

He stated that his father was a “die-hard Fine Gaeler and his father before him ran messages for Michael Collins during the War of Independence.

“He met Collins the night before the Big Fella was shot dead. My dad, Brian Quinn, was no republican, not in the meaning that word took on for a long time in this country. There was very little anti-British talk in my house when I was growing up. But back in 1972 he voted enthusiastically for Ireland to join what was then the EEC the following year because he saw it as a way of moving further out of Britain’s orbit.”

He then described how he felt the current Prime Minister was playing the role of Collins for the UK in Brexit discussions.

“She is the one who knows there has to be a compromise with Brussels. Her Chequers proposal, which will amount to a fairly soft Brexit, is the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. It falls short of what the British Devs want, and therefore they are readying themselves for a full-blown Tory civil war if need be.”

As you can imagine, readers from Ireland were quick to analyse the headline when the article was tweeted out by The Sunday Times editor of the Irish edition, Frank Fitzgibbons.

These were some of the comments that followed:

“You’re joking, right?”

“Eh, nooooo.”

“That’s funny, I can’t remember Collins saying ‘a united Ireland, means a united Ireland’ or ‘we will be leaving the Commonwealth’ prior to negotiations….”

“A bit of an insult to Collins.”

“Theresa May’s not fit to be compared to Collins – he was a pragmatist and realist willing to take the hard decisions which he knew would cause civil strife. May is a fantasist trying to please everyone in order to make her country worse off.”

What do you think of the headline? Let us know in the comments.