1916 and after March 29, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
I’ve got to admit I share some of the unease expressed by rockroots here in relation to the prominence at commemorations of descendants of those who fought in 1916. One doesn’t want to be churlish or unfair, but it does seem odd in the context of an explicitly republican rising to see what feels – fairly or unfairly, somewhat inegalitarian. This is not to deny the right to particular pride in the achievements of those one might be related to.
That said one relative, Frank Shouldice, writing in the SBP makes a range of useful points about the Rising and some of what it was like for those who fought during 1916 and then afterwards when for all the rhetoric about the events the reality was one of some marginalisation.
Two things stand out in particular. Firstly a point he makes about how…
Much of the current discussion re-examines what gave these 1916 revolutionaries the right to proclaim independence on behalf of the Irish people. The empirical bar to such an unanswerable question is indeed high, although the ‘right’ of a colonial power to maintain the status quo by force somehow escapes such philosophical scrutiny.
And on another aspect…
The executions at Kilmainham and other repressive measures meant that within two months, batches of Irish prisoners were cheered off at Dublin port.
And this I find very compelling:
Such a dramatic turnaround did not reassure the prisoners already locked away in British jails; rather it exposed the volatility of public sentiment. Wary of its fickle potential, it’s something many veterans, including my grandfather, decided they could live without.