Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox
You can measure the Irishness of any man or woman by their attitude to committing to oath a statement of intent, that has real substantive meaning.
Micheál Martin, and others who should know better, are busy concentrating on Sinn Féin not taking seats in Westminster.
Micheál fails to mention that the British has within its power the absolute right to alter the rules concerning provision of membership to parliament.
But Micheál hasn't any thought of that; or if he has, he's too afraid to mention it.
It is a reality that Britain has it within her powers to alter the requirement of swearing allegiance to the Queen. I've listened to various supposedly intelligent men and women saying that it's time to forget about the past, and Sinn Féin should take their seats in the Westminster parliament.
Does any Irish politician seriously believe that taking the oath of allegiance is just a minor issue? Something to be referred to flippantly, as though it wasn't of any great significance?
How appalling that would be, for any Irish politician to swear allegiance to the Queen.
It's a preposterous notion, and flies in the face of the meaning of Irishness in its purest form. Anyone who asserts that it doesn't matter, or it's time to forget about it, hasn't an idea what they're talking about.
No serious political member of Dáil Éireann should dare suggest any such move.
In any case, they should remember that Sinn Féin actually believe in the sanctity of Irish Sovereignty, and couldn't be expected to renege on that electoral undertaking.
What's wrong with the Queen relinquishing the necessity to swear allegiance, for any politician who isn't comfortable with it?
After all, it's time to consign these conditions to the past, perhaps........