Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Irish Presidency

The contest for the Presidency of the Irish Republic appears to be hotting up. The election itself is due on October 27th.

Now as an ardent Monarchist this might at first sight be of little concern to me, save for a sadness that such a post exists at all. I was, however, once assured by an Irish historian that a friend of his had conclusively demonstrated that the 1936 legislation to enact the abdication of King Edward VIII in Ireland had been incorrectly framed, so that he remained King of Ireland until his death in 1972, when the Crown of Ireland automatically descended to his neice, H. M. The Queen....

Meanwhile, and this is the point of this post, my friend Dr Ray Burke, an Orielensis whose doctorate was on Matthew Arnold and the Celt - and whose family from Mayo are from the republican tradition, wrote letter to the Irish Times in the wake of Her Majesty's visit to Dublin. The newspaper did not publish it, but in their default, and at his request, I will:

Queen Elizabeth for President of Ireland, anyone?
To: lettersed@irishtimes.com
Date: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 1:11 PM

Dear Sir,

I've just had the most brilliamt idea. Why should n't the Oireachtas get together and nominate The Queen as President. I'm sure the other candidates would defer to this idea, which would (if she accepted) at a stroke achieve a United Ireland and the goal of the original Sinn Fein, a Dual monarchy.

We wouldnt have to give up our sovereignty and she would n't have to come over to us that often. We could even have a Viceroy in ARAS an Unachtarain, there are enough sub Queens and drama Queens of all genders running around who would accept that office. She also speaks Irish with a better blas than most of our native politicians,.

I'm serious. It would be a symbolic gesture which would be appreciated by all Unionists , southern and Northern. It would n't undermine our Republic since she would be an elective Head of State. We would n't even have to rejoin the Commonwealth, which would be tedious and messy.It would allow us to move a step towards Unionism in achieving a United Ireland, instead of trying to bomb and ethnically cleanse our way, or simply allowing demographics to do our work for us. We talk about Unionism in the North recognising the symbols of Irish nationalism, but what about the reverse?

God Save the Queen, a hUachrtarain na hEireann.

Yours sincerely,

Raymond Burke

All interested email raymondburke@yahoo.com

A 19th century drawing of the arms of Ireland

The arms of the Kingdom of Ireland
as used from the early seventeenth century

Image: Wikipedia

1 comment:

Titus said...

It is quite unfortunate, if entirely understandable, that the old Irish royal households were unable to preserve themselves. It always seemed quite incongruous for the Catholic cause in Ireland to be a republican one: how much better it would have been if there could have been a free Irish monarchy.