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A former Minister writes on 1916 March 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

It’s Michael McDowell who in his piece in the SBP at the weekend isn’t bad at engaging with and demolishing some myths he sees (and many would agree) about the events of 1916. He covers them rapidly. #1 being the idea that ‘1916 was the start of a century of political violence’ – which he notes was clearly not the case given the creation of the UVF and support from the Tory establishment. #2 is the trope that ‘Irish independence was available through the Home Rule Acts’. This he gives short shrift to and also notes that Redmond’s patriotism wasn’t one that was shared by most of the Irish people within 24 months of the Rising. #3 is the idea that the Rising had a chance of military success. #4 the idea that ‘the Rising validates the Provo campaign’.

In a way though what is most interesting is his reiteration of an essentially Eurosceptic line, arguing that ‘nor do I believe that we should, after 100 years fold up the proclamation and become to an EU super-state what North Dakota is to the US’.


1. EWI - March 31, 2016

#3 is the idea that the Rising had a chance of military success.

This is to miss several important points. Firstly, that (outside the likes of republican dissidents!) the use of arms is always in pursuit of a political goal – in this case, many of those involved in 1916 state that the aim was to establish Ireland’s claim to be heard as one of the ‘small nations’ that the Allies were allegedly fighting on behalf of, for principle.

Another is that a supposedly rag-tag bunch of pretend soldiers stood up to the British Army in Dublin for a week as an organised and disciplined force who proved they could fight, and acquitted themselves honourably in their conduct, not least in their surrender. The psychological impact of this should not be underestimated – for an underdog, a draw is very nearly as good as a win.


2. gendjinn - March 31, 2016

Finally watched Oliver Stone’s history doc primarily in response to the Cold War 2.0 encirclement of China & Russia with NATO expansion and TPP/TPA. It’s Truman all over again.

Doc is worth seeing for the overarching message.


3. shea - April 1, 2016

watched him on prime time a week back. The bloke must be a very good barrister if he is able to strongly argue either side of an argument at a drop of a hat.


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