Sinn Fein’s reaction to the Glasnevin Wall of Remembrance at odds with ‘non hierarchy of victims’?

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 21.06.00After 100 years, the Republic has found its greater size and shape by doing what eventually Northern Ireland must do and produced a fitting and non-triumphalist memorial to all the victims of its conflict.
An expression of the non-hierarchy of victims more evident within political theory than in the practice in Northern Ireland.

Interestingly the Lord Mayor of Dublin Sinn Féin Cllr Críona Ní Dhálaigh was absent from Sunday’s opening ceremony where the ‘name upon name’ of the Remembrance wall included civilians, rebels, police and British soldiers.

Ms Ní Dhálaigh cited a family emergency, but her TD colleague Aengus Ó Snodaigh was admirably clear in his disapproval of the ‘non-hierarchy of the whole affair, which he saidwas…

…totally inappropriate for a memorial wall to list indiscriminately together Irish freedom fighters and members of the British crown forces”.

“Everyone should have the right to remember and honour their dead, whether they were Irish republicans, members of British crown forces or civilians. That is catered for already within Glasnevin cemetery with its many and diverse memorials and graves.

Of all the southern parties, Sinn Fein is by far the closest in time and politics to its own fundamentalist roots. It’s that which gives it a lot of its appeal, particularly to younger voters.

But there are odd echoes too in this attitude to separation with the older ends of the DUP. One of Ian Paisley’s favourite verse from the Bible being  2 Corinthians 6:17, “therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them”.

If there is no hierarchy of victims then the authors of the impressive tome Lost Lives is probably the model that fits best. Sooner or later that recognition of the equality of hurt across the board will have to be recognised in some way if we are to genuinely move on.

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