Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Decade of Commemorations

How the blood sacrifice of 1916 bequeathed independent Ireland to “the till-minders and crawthumpers”

Fri 20 September 2013, 1:02pm

Tweet I like the opening of John Waters’ column today… You have to hand it to Enda: at least he has courage. I have in mind “courage” in the Sir Humphrey sense – as on the occasion when minister Hacker announces his determination to go through with some “principled” proposal of his, in the face […] more »

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

Wed 12 June 2013, 11:03am

Tweet 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?” […] more »

Micheál Martin: Legacy of 1916 is to build rather than to divide the Irish nation…

Sun 21 April 2013, 1:01pm

Tweet Just out of embargo, here’s today’s speech from the Fianna Fail leader made just now at Arbour Hill church, where the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were buried. The added emphases are mine: Every state should take time to commemorate and celebrate the people and events of their founding. This commemoration is organised […] more »

Decade of remembrance, reconciliation or renewal?

Tue 2 April 2013, 2:33pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

We need fresher thinking than this

Thu 3 January 2013, 11:17pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

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

Wed 28 March 2012, 2:59pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

Signing up to the Covenant: An Alternative Vision for the Future?

Sat 10 March 2012, 7:10pm
1912 A Hundred Years On - still

Tweet At Thursday night’s annual Catherwood Lecture, Johnston McMaster covered a lot of ground in his talk entitled Signing up to the Covenant: An Alternative Vision for the Future? He started by explaining that his grandfather had signed the covenant, and continued to question throughout the talk whether he would have signed it if he’d […] more »

GAA promises to attend all coming ‘milestones’ (even Unionist ones)…

Fri 24 February 2012, 9:21pm

Tweet You do wonder sometimes whether everything in Northern Ireland’s public space (and if I may be so bold, Slugger included) is a good five years behind where ordinary people are. Sam McBride has a fascinating piece on the front page of the News Letter today… Danny Murphy, who is provisional director of the GAA […] more »

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