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A chara dhíl,

Goldhawk must have developed a squint. I did indeed write that the Ukrainian famine of the early 1930s should not be conflated with the Irish experience almost a century earlier. But this had absolutely nothing to do with President Zelenskyy’s address to Dáil Éireann, as wildly suggested by your scribe. It had everything to do with Paul Gillespie’s column in the Irish Times a few days earlier, drawing a superficial parallel between great famines in Ukraine and Ireland.

I might add, had Goldhawk actually read the Irish Times and Gillespie’s column, he (or perhaps she) would have to accept that it doesn’t easily fit the allegation – delivered as a self-evident truth – that the Irish Times is engaged in a campaign against Republicanism (the capitalisation may be Provisional, I suppose). Perhaps the bird needs to get out more.

Is mise le mór mheas,
Liam Kennedy

IT IS certainly testament to the gracious standards of debate still maintained at the Irish Times that in a 900 word column our correspondent, Liam Kennedy, declined to mention that they were responding to scold one of the newspaper’s own journalists.

Gillespie’s own effort was published on foot of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the Oireachtas and we only need only arrive at the eighth sentence to see it noted that in his speech, the Ukrainian President “referenced colonising empires claiming a right to subdue neighbouring people and destroy their identity; occupation tactics; the use of hunger as a weapon; and neutrality and solidarity on EU enlargement.”

In another newspaper, communications guru Terry Prone commends Zelenskyy as a “master of new and old techniques” and says that his deliberate famine reference was “cognisant of just how much this would resonate with the Irish.”

While the President’s officials might be forgiven for reaching for emotive comparisons at this juncture, Gillespie, the newspaper’s former foreign policy editor, who is presently deputy director of the Institute for British-Irish Studies in University College Dublin, also sees some merit in the historically parallel.

All this is to say that Liam Kennedy was indeed responding to the Ukrainian propaganda effort whether he realises it or not.