Someone is well satisfied by the 1916 Commemorations… August 19, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
And that someone would be Stephen Collins. And he’s entirely open about why… I missed this at the weekend but… worth looking at.
Fears expressed by some, including this column, that the inevitable glorification of violence 100 years ago could have damaging implications for today’s politics do not appear to have been justified, although it is probably too early to come to a definitive conclusion on that.
Though perhaps that fear was more about certain groups building support in the context of the commemorations.
He has a nice anecdote about reconciliation – I won’t spoil it by quoting it. You can read it in the text. And so it’s all about reconciliation. And the right to have different views. And “open minds”. And “encouraging pride in national independence and an open discussion about the Rising”.
And then there’s this:
One of the paradoxes about the commemoration of the Rising is that alongside the obvious national pride it generated there comes a refrain from a range of commentators, politicians and activists of various kinds asserting that the ideals of the 1916 leaders were betrayed by those who came after them.
This jaundiced view of the leaders of independent Ireland chimes with the current denigration of politicians and political parties which pervades so much of the commentary on public affairs.
And he goes further:
One of the highlights of the Parnell Summer School was a paper by Trinity College Dublin historian Anne Dolan who suggested that in tandem with the way “we have danced, sung and seminared” every twist and turn of the Rising, there had been “a rather eager trumpeting of all that we have failed to do, of just how much we have disgraced, reneged on, degraded and betrayed the ideals of the men of 1916”.
President Michael D Higgins is just the most prominent of those who have found the leaders of independent Ireland wanting on so many levels, but like other critics he has not given any credit to the politicians who came before him for the very real achievement of building an independent, democratic Irish State.
But how can one top the following:
Of course, the politicians of independent Ireland have had their faults, but there is no guarantee that if the 1916 leaders had survived things would have been any better. In fact, going by events in other European countries at the time, there are grounds for believing that things might have been far worse if the dreamers, poets and radical revolutionaries had emerged victorious from the Rising to impose their vision on an unprepared nation.
Feel the reconciliation.