The following letter was written to NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne by one of our supporters who is an Irish citizen. See our earlier post for the way in which academic debate is conducted at this institution.
I have recently viewed a 40 sec. clip regarding the recent visit by Professor Alan Johnson. This was recently reported in the Daily Telegraph online: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/alanjohnson/
I was born in Belfast, lived through the start of the “Troubles” and became an Irish Citizen after the Good Friday agreement. This was when I thought that Ireland stood for decency and reason. You may not agree with Prof Johnson, but by allowing him to be silenced by abuse, you surly weaken any argument against him. After all, if his ideas are so weak – why not destroy them by reasoned counter argument? It’s worse. By silencing him in this way you face being accused of the very fascism that Jews have experienced in their darkest times. I believe that Ireland is worth more than that, and that you, as representatives of Ireland can do better. Please make me proud to be Irish by supporting free speech and democracy. Invite Professor Alan Johnson, or his representative back and this time debate with honour.