Lessons for Nationalism: “In dreams begin responsibilities”

Tom Kelly draws on past experience and argues that Nationalists must assert practical civic values as well as their vision of a unified all island Republic, which he argues means recognising the right of Unionists to march the streets of Dublin. And he makes good use of a quote from WB Yeats along the way.

For once, Jeffrey Donaldson was right – we can’t talk seriously about getting speaking rights in the Dail if there are those who would prevent unionists speaking outside of it. The organisers of the Love Ulster parade could and should have been welcome to march past not only the historically significant GPO but the statue of that great Irish Protestant Charles Stuart Parnell, and that of Labour leader Jim Larkin who supported the rights of workers in Belfast and Dublin.

They should have been allowed to pass the former home of Grattan’s Parliament, Carson’s birthplace and his alma mater at Trinity, for these things are of their heritage too. Republicanism as spouted by Republican Sinn Féin or Provisionalism as espoused by Sinn Féin falls way short of the inclusiveness of Tone, Parnell and Collins.

For as WB Yeats once wrote: “In dreams begin responsibilities.” The dream died a little last Saturday and the irresponsibility and intolerance of those who used violence to oppose the Love Ulster parade very clearly demonstrated that they don’t even love Ireland.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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