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A writer for the London Times has questioned Ireland's 'tenuous claim to nationhood'

The column also said that republicanism was “rooted in romanticism and myth and hatred”.

THE IRISH AMBASSADOR to the UK has hit back at “outlandish” claims by a writer for the London Times who questioned Ireland’s nationhood.

In the piece entitled “Britain is the authentic nation in this battle”, Melanie Phillips says that Ireland has a “tenuous claim to nationhood”.

She further claims that Ireland “seceded” from the UK after the War of Independence.

The column comes on the back of continued agitation by the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Scotland and Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland for independence from the UK.

Phillips writes:

Does that mean Westminster should tear up the Good Friday agreement and bid farewell to Northern Ireland? No, because it has an obligation to the Unionists; and because the claim to unite Ireland is tenuous since Ireland itself has a tenuous claim to nationhood, having seceded from Britain as the Irish Free State only in 1922.

The piece also claims that: “Scottish nationalism and Irish republicanism are cultural phenomena rooted in romanticism and myth and hatred of the other in the form of the English or the Protestants.”

Phillips argues that the SNP and Sinn Féin want to “reclaim powers from Westminster in order to surrender them to Brussels”.

The column has drawn sharp criticism from Ireland’s Ambassador in London who described Phillips’ questioning of Irish nationhood as “outlandish”.

Phillips has previously written for the Daily Mail and has often been criticised for her views which have included referring to climate change as “a scam”.

Read: Theresa May to signal end of free movement for EU migrants when Article 50 is triggered >

Read: On Brussels trip, Kenny says Brexit deal should include provision for united Ireland >

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Rónán Duffy

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