Tag Archives | Decade of Commemorations

2016 and the decade of centenaries: What’s that all about then?

2016 calendar

WHOM DOES 2016 SERVE: Irish identity and Irish freedom are not contiguous concepts (or realities) by any means. Therein lies a useful and potentially powerful unifying paradox if anyone cares to pick it up and run with it from where it was so recklessly abandoned in early 2011.


1916 Centenary – Cherishing All the Children Equally?

Yesterday we saw the government reveal more detailed plans regarding the official commemoration of the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Plans to mark this key event in the history of the state include a major exhibition of 1916 archival material at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks and series of commemorative events, more…


Remembrance: Could we ‘hack’ a common purpose from our shared and bloody history?

‘Traditions’ which appear or claim to be old are often quite recent in origin and sometimes invented. Eric Hobsbawm In his introduction to a 1983 collection of essays Eric Hobsbawm notes not only that traditions are by definition ‘unchanging and invariant’, but that they are themselves created or invented as a response to rapid technological more…


BIPA and facing the difficult politics of a common history….


The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly  delved deep into history to commemorate the centenary of the Great War and to highlight the long hidden and shared contribution of soldiers – Catholic and Protestant, Nationalist and Unionist – as a means of overcoming present differences. Many cite the comment by Churchill at the end of that war that “The whole map of Europe more…


If Ireland north and south can commemorate the First World War together, so should the Germans alongside the wartime Allies

A piece in the Indy by Matthew Norman on the UK’s plans to commemorate World War 1 has to be read quite carefully to register the satire against the (English) Culture secretary’s smiley  moral equivalence approach to the vexed issue of war guilt. Were the Germans the clear aggressors or “were we all to blame?” The more…


Decade of remembrance, reconciliation or renewal?

Here’s something we’ve been poor at talking about so far. Last year was the first of a decade of significant centenaries in Irish history. The first of them, the signing of the Convenant actually passed without a great deal of comment, or any serious revisiting of its meaning in contemporary society. On on level the more…


We need fresher thinking than this

Two New Year articles worth noting which struggle with the abiding theme. Given prime billing in the Irish Times, Robin Wilson laments the anti-democratic and physical force elements in both of our traditions as we move further into the decade of commemoration. His historical sweep of a century reinforces his determinist case against the GFA more…


Why half centenaries are deadlier than the decade of centenaries just about to begin…

FitzJamesHorse’s blog has great piece on history and human memory, not least on what living through a violent period of history reveals about ordinary life… You should really read the whole thing, but here’s his conclusion: I believe that the present obsession with the Decade of Centenaries……..Ulster Covenant (1912), Easter (1916), Somme (1916), Partition (1922)………deflects more…