Free from the shackles of nationalist rhetoric?

Irish Justice Miniser, Michael McDowell, says he believes the decision to reinstate the 1916 military parade and commemoration of the Easter Rising was the right one because “it amounts to a categorical rejection of the proposition – argued for by Provos and revisionists alike – that 1916 was in some sense the patrimony of the sectarian terror campaign waged on this island by the Provos from 1969 to 1998”. “We were right to reclaim our history and our flag from those who were abusing them to develop a grotesque historical ideology that somehow ‘morphs’ Arthur Griffith of 1905 into Gerry Adams in 2005.

“We were right to do honour to our patriots. We were right to start a great national conversation and debate on what it is to be Irish. That is the path to reconciliation of orange and green. We were right to reinstate the authentic meaning of the term ‘republican’. Ireland is not simply Gaelic or nationalist. Irishness is a complex tapestry of Gaels, Scandinavians, Normans, English, Scots and Anglo-Irish. Irish culture reflects that complexity and diversity. Like a lot of other things, 1916 is ‘part of what we are’. It does not define us or enslave us. Realising that much liberates us.”

While McDowell feels the Rising was not “the single moment of birth of Irish freedom – nor even the moment of conception which led to the birth of an independent Irish state” Alan Ruddock in the Sunday Times takes an opposite view, saying it was “undeniably, a catalyst”, that went on to generate “the chain reaction of execution, recrimination and nationalist fervour that created the conditions for the war of independence and the civil war that followed”.

Ruddock feels that before 1916 there was a chance Ireland’s divisions could be eased by joint resistance to the common enemy.

“The rebels, by choosing German rather than British imperialism, killed that faint hope and spat in the faces of the tens of thousands of Irishmen who would die fighting the Germans, just as their followers would spit in the faces of those who fought in and survived the great war.

“The rising was a consciously treacherous stab in the back, not just for Britain, but for the Irishmen who saw it as their duty to fight in the great war. Ahern sees it as a “cry of radical idealism that shook the world”, but it was not and did not.”

According to Ruddock, by celebrating the Rising, the Irish State is celebrating “division and alienation, and lauds those who set this country on a destructive and violent course from which it is only now emerging.

“The rebel leaders gave us civil war and violent, fascist republicanism. They gave us sectarianism and a false mythology on which we hung our early, failed attempts at nation building. And they gave us hate.”

He mentions how his grandfathers played no part in the Easter Rising of 1916, so, unlike many Irish people, he cannot draw republican authenticity from the bones of my ancestors.”

“One was young enough to join the North Irish Horse and served his time in France; another was too old for the trenches, but remembered the 1916 rebels as “scallywags” and “back-stabbers”.

My wife’s maternal grandfather, a teenager at the time, referred to the rebels as “blackguards”. As a boy scout his duties included hosing the mud from the soldiers who came through Kingstown harbour on their return from the trenches. They were his heroes, not the Easter Rising leaders whose treachery, as he saw it, cost more than 200 civilian lives.

“All three were southern Irish, Protestant but far from Anglo. That’s a difficult concept for those who prefer to caricature southern Protestants as part of an Anglo-Irish ascendancy rather than as a diverse minority who encompassed all the class divisions of the time.”

This line caught my attention. Indeed, southern Protestants were a diverse minority who, I might add, also encompassed diverse ideologies as well as classes. My penniless Protestant grandfather was from Kingstown too, like his father and grandfather before him, and as a teenager in 1916, he actually married a staunch penniless local republican woman, who in later years proudly sported a brass bust of Dev on on her mantlepiece.

  • Henry94

    So McDowell wasn’t cycling around Dublin last night trying to call it off like his grandfather did for the actual rising.

    Let’s hope his grandsons won’t try in 2096 to claim that Bobby Sands was a pacifist.

  • elfinto

    So following on from McDowell’s logic it would be fair to say that the 1916 rising was not the patrimony of the War of Independence, which was sectarian of course.

  • Busty Brenda

    I agree with a lot of what McDowell had to say, and it tied in perfectly well with what we witnessed this morning on RTE in Dublin. A fine display of nationhood and no need for Gerry and his band of followers on the Falls Road,who are the successors of a failed armed and sectarian campaign.

  • Jo

    How many 8 year olds today will be fighting for what the men of 1916 died – in 2016?

    Well, I suppose that shouldnt matter as long as they know the vital facts of 1916 – that James Connolly died – shot in a chair by the evil Brits.

  • Rory

    Well he is right at least in that the Easter Rising did not in any sense give patrimony to subsequent sectarian strife and war fare. That patrimony had already been established when they planted Ireland, when they gave Cromwellian and later Williamite mercenatries leave to steal the land, persecute the natives and deny them, their culture, their religion their means of livliehood, their every freedom. 1916 was the continuance of a campaign, from at least 1789 and continued ever since, to end British sectarian strife in Ireland, a misery that those of McDowell’s class often colluded in when it suited their advancement.

  • kensei

    “Well, I suppose that shouldnt matter as long as they know the vital facts of 1916 – that James Connolly died – shot in a chair by the evil Brits.”

    He was. The brutality of the Brits decisively swung opinion in favour of the Rising, and a Republic. That’s a pretty vital fact, no?

  • foreign correspondent

    ”The rebels, by choosing German rather than British imperialism, killed that faint hope and spat in the faces of the tens of thousands of Irishmen who would die fighting the Germans, just as their followers would spit in the faces of those who fought in and survived the great war”
    Rubbish. Neither King or Kaiser. At the time of WW1 Britain was guilty of as bloody imperialist crimes as Germany, if not more seeing as they controlled a bigger part of the globe. Why did Irish men fight for them. Not condoning the Easter Rising violence either mind you. Killing and dying for your country are the two stupidest ideas in human history.

  • Jo

    The actual number of executions could have been much higher. I have been urged to try and empathise with the time – 1916.

    Well, heres for starters. It was a world war. It was a rebellion in the United Kingdom. The leaders were executed. Some were pardoned. Quite a lot were sent to prison.

    Is there ANYTHING there that was unreasonable, that was brutal and disproportionate and way outside the accepted standards of the time? Honestly?

  • kensei

    “Is there ANYTHING there that was unreasonable, that was brutal and disproportionate and way outside the accepted standards of the time? Honestly?”

    From the perspective of the ruling classess, no. Though Connolly’s treatment was pretty brutal, even by standards of the age.

    From the perspective of the plebs below them, quite a lot was wrong with it. Which is one of the reasons opinion turned.

  • Brian Boru

    “So following on from McDowell’s logic it would be fair to say that the 1916 rising was not the patrimony of the War of Independence, which was sectarian of course.”

    Elfinto it was not sectarian. Protestants such as Countess Markievicz, Ernest Blythe, Katherine Lynn, Robert Barton, Erskine Childers took part in the War of Independence. If many Protestants left the South around this time it was generally more out of fear of no longer being part of the UK, rather than violence against them.

    “The actual number of executions could have been much higher. I have been urged to try and empathise with the time – 1916.

    Well, heres for starters. It was a world war. It was a rebellion in the United Kingdom. The leaders were executed. Some were pardoned. Quite a lot were sent to prison.

    Is there ANYTHING there that was unreasonable, that was brutal and disproportionate and way outside the accepted standards of the time? Honestly?”

    In my opinion it was a legitimate war and as such, those arrested were POWs. But on your specific question about actions that were “brutal and disproportionate” I could point out the massacre by soldiers of the South Staffordshire regiment of 16 civilians hiding in a cellar, the killing of 12 workers in a mill by British soldiers, and the arrest and execution on the orders of Captain J.C. Bowen Colthurst of innocent bystanders, including SF man Richard O’Carroll, 2 Unionist journalists, the writer Francis Sheehy-Skeffington and a boy. Then the mass internment of thousands of innocent people who returned embittered by their experiences.

    And before you say it was a SF rising in relation to O’Carroll, the reality is that SF had no role in 1916 and only became a Republican party because of the media and British govt hallabaloo about it being a “Sinn Fein Rising” due to poor intelligence. This led the public to identify the Rising with SF, and when the executions and attrocities led to public opinion retrospectively supporting the Rising (which many had not done beforehand), they therefore voted SF in 1918. Those later released after 1916 therefore flocked into SF and changed its policy from a unilateral declaration of Home Rule to one of independence and republicanism.

    “Why did Irish men fight for them.”

    Foreign Correspondant, this was mainly because the Home Rule party leader, John Redmond, told members of the pro-Home Rule Irish Volunteers (set up in response to the UVF) to join up because then Britain would be grateful and give us All-Ireland Home Rule. I think they were royally duped, but I salute their bravery and acknowledge that they went into this with the best of intentions. The public largely supported this until the executions. The rebels turned out to be far more dangerous to British rule dead than alive. As Yeats put it “a terrible beauty is born”.

  • Jo

    There was nothing cruel and unusual about the British reaction to the war then. Noen of the innocents you highlight would have been killed had the rebels not acted – unprovoked by martial law or anythign oike that – as they did. Of course the plebs (not my ophrase) chse to see it differently and history is as it is.

    But to hark back from 2006 to 1916 as is being done today is to take us back to a worse time than we have now, and to link 1916 with the Tiger is utterly ridiculous. Next they will be saying Pearse drew up plans for the Apollo space programme?

    A lot of people have made themselves look utterly ridiculous over the hysteria whipped up for this 90th anniversary and in my view have helped brainwash another generation to go to war again in my lifetime?

    I find that utterly unacceptable and instead of celebrating, there should be heads hagning in shame. More likely theyll be hanging with a deadly hangover tomorrow. Time to lose out history hangover.

  • Jo

    This is my last post on 1916.

    I never ever want to hear another republican or nationalist talk about “letting go of the past” or any such sh*t again.

    After todays’ events, such talk is all about as hollow as my Tesco Easter egg. But I wonder how many of them/you will understand that reaction and how negative a contribution today makes to unity of minds or the divisions on this island?

  • Jo

    “There was nothing cruel and unusual about the British reaction to the war then.”

    Nothing cruel about carrying a wounded man in on a stretcher, propping him up in a chair and shooting him? Even some British figures at Connolly’s court martial were anxious about shooting him. As for the reaction here are the thoughts of Theodore Roosevelt in a letter written to Lloyd George in June:

    “I wish your people had not shot the leaders of the Irish rebels after they had surrendered…It would have been the better part of wisdom not to exact the death penalty.”

    Worth noting that there were protests in New York over the executions involving 20,00 people.

    “Noen of the innocents you highlight would have been killed had the rebels not acted – unprovoked by martial law or anythign oike that – as they did. Of course the plebs (not my ophrase) chse to see it differently and history is as it is.”

    That doesn’t excuse British brutality during the Rising nor the subsequent cover-up by the British over some of the civilian deaths on the grounds it could be used for “hostile propaganda”.

    On another note, similar arguments have been used by extremist unionist commentators, who Jo disagrees with, over Bloody Sunday – that the marchers wouldn’t have been shot if they had not gone on the illegal march. I don’t think Jo agreed with that logic so her stance over the rebel’s actions is confusing.

    “I never ever want to hear another republican or nationalist talk about “letting go of the past” or any such sh*t again.

    After todays’ events, such talk is all about as hollow as my Tesco Easter egg. But I wonder how many of them/you will understand that reaction and how negative a contribution today makes to unity of minds or the divisions on this island?”

    Here we see Jo pretending to be a moderate unionist again when she has in the past consistently lashed out at the Easter Rising, on one occasion even shamefully branding Padraig Pearse a paedophile. Her comments today on the Rising on her blog are quite telling.

    We’re not all fooled by your posturing Jo. Here’s a quote from Jo from March 26th:

    “My point is that if people who want Irish unity dont agree with me, or find my views (such as they are) unacceptable, there is no hope whatsoever for approachement which will lead to unification.”

    She has a very high opinion of herself, doesn’t she? 🙂

  • kensei

    And Jo – you still haven’t answered my question. I am proud of what the men of 1916 stood for. How would you like me to put it.

    If you are saying that I must find 1916 a shameful act, then you are right, there can be no approachment.

  • Jo

    I am not reneging on my undertaking but would respond to clarify my quotation – as possibly the most moderate unionist blogging today – if you cannot find common ground with me, there are very, very many to the Right of me who you will never, ever convince of your bona fides.

    I am not being egocentric at all. At least, not on this particular occasion. 🙂

  • Gordon

    I must say that watching todays military parade through Dublin had me highly embarrassed.

    It’s 2006, what were they thinking by having a parade like that in this day and age. It was like a throwback to Germany circa 1937.

    And McAleese has the nerve to call protestants in the north Nazis?

  • Jo,

    Comments like this from yourself on the Rising:

    “So indeed, the change of flag was meaningless, for many decades after Connolly’s death. Economic stagnation, twitching curtains, the grip of the Catholic Church tightening, crushing the lives and the sexuality of generations.

    Hardly “a risen people”.

    Its not appropriate to celebrate 1916 in 2006, or indeed 2016.”

    As well as this:

    “The sickening blasphemy of it is that this act of worshipping violence takes place on Easter Sunday. Truly, 1916 has become for Catholic bigots the 1690 of the Protestant bigot. To disregard the feelings of a substantial part of this island about history is precisely what is happening today and will happen again in Northern Ireland on 12 and 13th July.

    At least today shows that the word “Catholic” can be as readily applied before the word “bigot” as can the word “Protestant.” And of anyone thinks I am being one-sided or hard on such celebration of division and violence, wait until July.”

    They are not in my opinion, and I think most nationalists on Slugger would agree, the kind of comments one would associate with “possibly the most moderate unionist blogging today”!

    Thank God for that! 🙂

  • Brian Boru

    “”So indeed, the change of flag was meaningless, for many decades after Connolly’s death. Economic stagnation, twitching curtains, the grip of the Catholic Church tightening, crushing the lives and the sexuality of generations.

    Hardly “a risen people”.

    Its not appropriate to celebrate 1916 in 2006, or indeed 2016.”

    Some of the most secular voices of Irish Republicanism died in those executions of 1916. Among the lesser well known survivors was Michael Collins, who played a minor role. Later events make it clear that he not been shot at Beal na Blath in Co.Cork, then the Southern state would have been a far more secular place than it ended up being. We know that in 1916, De Valera resisted Pearse’s orders to let women rebels take join the occupation of Boland’s Mills. His view of the relationship between Church and State was not the view of all of the rebels. Certainly not James Connolly. I think we lost the cream of the crop in 1916, but I think the modern Republic in 2006 is one in line with the Proclamation’s vision of “cherishing all the children of the nation equally” irrespective of “the differences carefully fostered by an alien government to divide a minority from a majority in the past”. This last reference is a clear repudiation by the men and women of 1916 of sectarianism.

    Jo, do you deny that the Southern state would not exist today without 1916? If so then how do you envisage it having happened? If we had gone along with the Government of Ireland Act 1920 with respect to its provisions for Home Rule, then Westminster would have retained reserve powers over taxation, postal-services, foreign and defence policies, and even the police. We would not have been able to introduce the low-tax model that has attracted multinationals. We would still have been the sick man of Europe economically. As Garrett Fitzgerald recently noted in the Irish Times, we would – based on the Northern experience – have become dependent on UK subsidies, which would have made it harder to argue for complete independence later on. So it is clear that without 1916 and the reaction to the executions we would not be a rich country today. It is a damning indictment of British rule that after 753 years ruled by England/Britain, and 121 years of the Union, the South of Ireland was an economic backwater. I think we’ve done a far better job – not least because the politicians are local and know better the people’s needs and also because we are not motivated by an impulse to oppress that London was. Up the Republic.

  • Brian Boru

    “I must say that watching todays military parade through Dublin had me highly embarrassed.

    It’s 2006, what were they thinking by having a parade like that in this day and age. It was like a throwback to Germany circa 1937.

    And McAleese has the nerve to call protestants in the north Nazis?”

    More revisionist comparisons with Nazi Germany. It is deplorable to compare the Southern state – which has never taken part in a war – with that regime. We didn’t send millions of people to gas-chambers as far as I know. Tens of thousands of Southerners joined the British army and fought in WW2. McAleese said “people” not “all Protestants” btw. She is also the victim of unfair character assassination by those who twist well-meaning words to compare harmless people to Nazis. Disgrace.

  • The Devil

    This event outside the G.P.O in Dublin today was a fantastic step forward by the Irish Nation as a whole.

    Courageously the people of Dublin have shown that they will not cower down to the bullies and that uniformed bands will march in O’Connell Street

  • Mustapha Mond

    “We were right to reclaim our history and our flag from those who were abusing them to develop a grotesque historical ideology that somehow ‘morphs’ Arthur Griffith…

    Surely he is’nt holding aloft Anti-semite and pro-african slaver Mr. Griffiths as some kind of role-model

  • kensei

    “I am not reneging on my undertaking but would respond to clarify my quotation – as possibly the most moderate unionist blogging today – if you cannot find common ground with me, there are very, very many to the Right of me who you will never, ever convince of your bona fides.”

    I don’t believe that is possible to or a worthwhile endeavour to try and seek repraochment on every single issue. The Unionist perspective on 1916 will always be different, and I respect that. Attempts to utterly reconcile them with it will inevitable lead to division: there is a point neither side can get past.

    You need to respect the significance of the Easter Rising to Republicans, and realise as a set of ideals there is a lot you can agree with in the Proclaimation, without fully accepting the whole thing. I accept the rising was not a perfect act, but I believe it was both important and neccesary. That’s as close as likely we will ever get.

    You are asking Irish men and women to break with the founding act of their state. That’s an impossible ask. It is in itself, divise. It’s like asking an American to rebuke the Declaration of Independence.

  • dodrade

    The hypocrisy of it all sickens me. Ahern preaches peace and reconcilation and then glorifies gunmen. They can’t have it both ways. If Pearse and Connolly are heroes then so are Sean Kelly and the Balcombe Street Gang. You cannot have nice republican gunmen and nasty republican gunmen. All are either terrorists or patriots.

  • Brian Boru

    “You cannot have nice republican gunmen and nasty republican gunmen.”

    Why not?

    “All are either terrorists or patriots.”

    No.

  • Barry

    ‘You stop waving your flag and I’ll stop waving mine.’ On Sky TV Ruth Dudley Edwards described the anniversary as ‘necrophiliac nationalism’. Except for the bit where they remembered the ‘enemy’, some faint praise there. Concerned that I might be infected with necrophilia, I turned to BBC Radio 4 (4pm Sunday). I tuned in to a long, long reading of Andrew Marvel’s Horatian Ode to Oliver Cromwell on His Victorious Return from Ireland (part of a Poems in History series). At 5pm, I was given a long list of upcoming programmes celebrating 80 glorious years of British history to commemorate the Queen’s 80th birthday. Well, I thought, at least I won’t catch necrophilia here.

  • Jo

    OK, as you asked me so many questions, will say more.

    You should celebrate and commemorate the establishment of the Republic – in 1949.

    The involvement of the military is anachronistic, I am not the only one who knows that this is 2006.

    There is a very different view of 1916 which will not go away. How does parading that essentially-contested event bring forward unity of the island or unity of people? Even Jacqui who isnt even Irish can see that people think differently about 1916 and that split is largely along Prod and Fenian lines.

    The Irish state of today is not the one ushered in by 1916. The one that UI quoted me correctly on is indeed the Ireland of the 1920’s through to the 60s. It was described as such by the greatest Irish writers of the 20th century – O Casey, Joyce. I accept that a Collins-influenced Free State would have been more secular, like the one that is around today but thats a relatively new thing. LOok at emigration from 1920 onwards – was the new state such a brilliant thing that people flooded into it? Of course not!

    When did returnees outnumber those leaving?
    When there was economic recovery, when the state became more secular when the Provos had a rethink and when it was discovered that priests had been having sex with the children of the nation for seven decades.

    None of the above developments had anything to do with 1916. Perhaps the best that can be said is that 1916 is that it is the heritage of more than the Provos, but given that they used it to justify their war for three decades, its hardly surprising that some like myself balk at the Irish government army and people remembering these people as heroes in the way that the Provos did, is it?

  • That’s a pretty powerful arguement Jo to support your claim
    You should celebrate and commemorate the establishment of the Republic – in 1949.

  • kensei

    “You should celebrate and commemorate the establishment of the Republic – in 1949.”

    Read agin what I said about the Rising. Please try to understand. 1949 was one step on the way (still not a United State). 1916 was the beginning. If we get a United State I would be happy to diminish 1916 celebrations in favour of Unity celebrations.

    “The involvement of the military is anachronistic, I am not the only one who knows that this is 2006.”

    You aren’t allowed military parades in 2006? It’s hardly like Ireland has invaded anywhere, like.

    “There is a very different view of 1916 which will not go away. How does parading that essentially-contested event bring forward unity of the island or unity of people? Even Jacqui who isnt even Irish can see that people think differently about 1916 and that split is largely along Prod and Fenian lines.”

    No. No more than 1690 should be given up celebrated by Unionists. We want a United State, not a mono ethnic one.

    “The Irish state of today is not the one ushered in by 1916. The one that UI quoted me correctly on is indeed the Ireland of the 1920’s through to the 60s. It was described as such by the greatest Irish writers of the 20th century – O Casey, Joyce. I accept that a Collins-influenced Free State would have been more secular, like the one that is around today but thats a relatively new thing. LOok at emigration from 1920 onwards – was the new state such a brilliant thing that people flooded into it? Of course not!”

    But it is. Ireland is a Republic. We are free to chose ourselves. I respect you have a different opinion, and that perspective should be expressed and have it’s place. But I cannot agree. They were the fire that sparked the Republic. I can’t see how I can meet you half way on this. To deny the heroes of 1916 is to deny myself, and my birthright.

    Ask any of the people who had to leave would they trade Irish freedom for a gilded cage.

    “When did returnees outnumber those leaving?
    When there was economic recovery, when the state became more secular when the Provos had a rethink and when it was discovered that priests had been having sex with the children of the nation for seven decades.”

    Only the first has any bearing at all on immigration. People will always go to where the money is.

    You are confusing two things. The Rising itself was a strike for Irish freedom, it was significant event and woke a lot of people up to the idea that they can control their own destiny. It is THE reason why Ireland is a Republic and not in some version of Union with Britain. Was it perfect? No. Did innocent people die? Yes. Did politicians fuck up for sometime afterward? Yes. But that does not diminish the importance or the ideals of the Rising and the Proclaimation. Because Ireland has it’s freedom, because Ireland can control her destiny, she is finally starting to get it right.

    Again you’ve told me celebrating 1916 is wrong. I am telling you I cannot accept that, and most Irishmen cannot accept that, for all the reasons I have outlined. I am always interested in ideas for compromise or for shared understanding, but you aren’t offering any. Help me out.

  • Jo

    “It is THE reason why Ireland is a Republic and not in some version of Union with Britain.”

    And the latter would be a terrible thing, wouldn’t it? I see you believe that, but Britain is 15 times the size of Ireland and most of those are happy to be there. Look how many went from Ireland to the other island for seven decades, without passports and free to come and go. They voted with their feet.

    “Was it perfect? No. Did innocent people die? Yes.”

    I agree with you. The innocents died also between 1956 and 2006. Its still imperfect and marching men down O’Connell Street hasnt noticeably improved the imperfection.

    Is a defining characteristic of Irishness that you have to accept 1916 was bad but good?
    Sorry, I cannot be that schizo.

    Celebrate it as you wish, but realise that in the real Ireland encompassing both jurisdictions, the rebellion was a rebellion and not by definition a good thing. “Rebellion” means something positive if you are in the south and only signifies positively for two in five of the northern people.

    Theres something rather odd about celebrating something that you KNOW the very people you want to persuade to join you, regard as treachery and a completely needless act of violence.

    In celebrating it, your main audience is south of the Border and in that you have accepted partition and go against the ideals of the very people whom you seek to honour. Weird.

  • kensei

    “And the latter would be a terrible thing, wouldn’t it? I see you believe that, but Britain is 15 times the size of Ireland and most of those are happy to be there. Look how many went from Ireland to the other island for seven decades, without passports and free to come and go. They voted with their feet.”

    They voted with their wallets. And they went everywhere, not just England. And a lot didn’t want to leave.

    And yes, it would be a terrible thing for Ireland to still be under the dominion of the UK. I believe, and I believe very firmly that controlling your own destiny is infinitely preferable to being ruled by others. And that would go for Scotland and Wales too, and I think their Nationalist movements will get a boost when the Tories get in and go counter to their wishes. Westminister is run for England, and increasingly the South West of England. The only place to come close to the economic performance for that region in the British Isles is the ROI, and it is no coincidence that it is the only one is completely automnomous. The monarchy and the Lords offend me too, but that’s another issue.

    People constantly give you reasons Jo why joining the Republic would be better for everyone, but you refuse to listen and just respond with ‘I’m comfortable’ (I’ alright Jack?). I can accept the emotional attachment you may have as a perfectly valid reason for you to support the Union, but for heaven’s sake don’t claim you are open minded on the issue.

    I’m not sure what Britain being 15 times the size of Ireland has to do with anything, btw.

    “Is a defining characteristic of Irishness that you have to accept 1916 was bad but good?
    Sorry, I cannot be that schizo.”

    No. That choice is entirely up to you. It means you have to respect my decision, also.

    “Celebrate it as you wish, but realise that in the real Ireland encompassing both jurisdictions, the rebellion was a rebellion and not by definition a good thing. “Rebellion” means something positive if you are in the south and only signifies positively for two in five of the northern people.

    Theres something rather odd about celebrating something that you KNOW the very people you want to persuade to join you, regard as treachery and a completely needless act of violence.”

    I’m sorry. I want a United Ireland but not at any cost. I am Republican. I believe very strongly in the values and ideals of 1916. An Ireland where I cannot celebrate those is an Ireland whose freedom is fatally compromised. I want an Ireland where we can celebrate all our traditions, not none of them.

    “In celebrating it, your main audience is south of the Border and in that you have accepted partition and go against the ideals of the very people whom you seek to honour. Weird. ”

    Or, the message is that we still strive towards the values of 1916.

    “The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”

    You are still on the attack. I have asked for constructive input.

  • Jo

    “Look how many went from Ireland to the other island for seven decades, without passports and free to come and go. They voted with their feet.”

    There are many people from your community Jo who are now going to Britian and they’re not coming back. It’s being termed a Protestant brain-drain.

    By your own logic then the Northern Ireland state is a failure! So why are you a unionist?

    “Celebrate it as you wish, but realise that in the real Ireland encompassing both jurisdictions, the rebellion was a rebellion and not by definition a good thing. “Rebellion” means something positive if you are in the south and only signifies positively for two in five of the northern people.”

    Actually the Ulster Volunteer Force threatened rebellion if democracy was allowed to prevail and if the Irish were given Home Rule!

    Theres something rather odd about celebrating something that you KNOW the very people you want to persuade to join you, regard as treachery and a completely needless act of violence.

    Jo, the country that you regard as your own is built upon that kind of thing. On the 12th of July how much of the North’s community will be in celebratory mood?

    In celebrating it, your main audience is south of the Border and in that you have accepted partition and go against the ideals of the very people whom you seek to honour. Weird.

    Not true. There were events across the island. Obviously the main event took place in the capital city but the same happens on St Patrick’s Day and it didn’t stop you from enjoying that day. 🙂

  • Brian Boru

    “Westminister is run for England, and increasingly the South West of England.”

    Southeast you mean.

    Jo, I wonder would you be similarly harsh in your judge of the US War of Independence?

  • Brian Boru

    “LOok at emigration from 1920 onwards – was the new state such a brilliant thing that people flooded into it? Of course not!”

    1 million people did indeed leave in net terms during the 20th century. However multiple times that left in the 19th century. Which is worse?

    “Is a defining characteristic of Irishness that you have to accept 1916 was bad but good?
    Sorry, I cannot be that schizo.”

    You can have whatever opinion you like on that question and still be Irish. We already have revisionist journalists like John A.Murphy, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Robin Bury and Eoin Harris bashing 1916 all the time.

    “And the latter would be a terrible thing, wouldn’t it? I see you believe that, but Britain is 15 times the size of Ireland and most of those are happy to be there. Look how many went from Ireland to the other island for seven decades, without passports and free to come and go. They voted with their feet.”

    I believe that the 26 counties would have remained the source of only 20% of the island’s industrial output had we stayed in the UK. I have to say Jo – and I don’t mean any offence by this – but perhaps the fact that your community was the only one on the island to profit from British rule before partition has coloured your judgement. It is a reality – and I don’t blame present-day Protestants for this – that under the Union, Protestants on this island were a privileged elite for centuries, having rights to vote, inherit property, get an education, sit in parliament, practice their religion and buy property that were simply not in the possession of Irish Catholics. As such, I understand that you will see things differently from us. I would ask then that you place yourself in the shoes of the other community that suffered under these restrictions, and understand the resentment that caused. Maybe then you will be less harsh in your judgement of 1916 and previous rebellions.

    In spite of these privileges, it is nonetheless noteworthy that Irish Protestants such as Tone, Emmet, Henry Joy McCracken and Henry Monroe played prominent roles in resisting a system that Edmund Burke described as “‘a machine as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement in them of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man’.”. They could see things from other people’s perspective. It would be nice if you could do the same.

  • Brian Boru
  • kensei

    “Southeast you mean.”

    No, the MP’s all addicted to Devon custard………. 😛

  • Woof McDog

    I find it truely remarkable that some have a problem with remembrance of the 1916 rising.

    So I mightnt entirely dig people in uniforms marching up and down but on watching it on TV I thought it was actually tasteful enough – particularly the carrying of flags representing nations in which Irish troops have served with the UN.

    Some of those whining seem to have no problem with British memorials for the pointless slaughter of the first world war – which I find truely astonishing. Every November this shouldnt be celebrated it should be a point of abject shame.
    And as for Ruth Dudley Edwards necrophilia jibes – what planet does this woman reside on.

    My great grandfathers name is on the Hellas memorial at Gallipoli, blown to smithereens for what? – So Winston Churchill could have another bloody cigar?. His son was wounded at the Somme and returned to Belfast where his home was attacked in a unionist pogrom in 1922. Oh the glory of serving Britain.

    It seems to me that Pearse and Co did a lot better.

  • German-American

    “Jo, I wonder would you be similarly harsh in your judge of the US War of Independence?”

    Clearly I can’t speak for Jo, and I don’t know what her present opinion is on this question. However I can’t but think that if Jo were commenting 90 years after the Declaration of Independence (i.e., in 1866) she would be as scornful of celebrations of the “American rebellion” as she is today of celebrations of the Easter Rising.

    Consider: Maybe I’m forgetting my American history, but I don’t recall centuries of gross British oppression of America leading up to 1776. Given that, George Washington et.al., could be viewed as nothing but rebellious traitors; I’m sure if America had lost the war they would have been hanged en masse without a moment’s hesitation.

    The war with Britain that they started didn’t finally end until nearly 40 years later (at the conclusion of the War of 1812). The constitution they created laid the seeds of continued strife through its acceptance and even privileging of the institution of slavery, leading to vicious guerilla conflicts in various states and then culminating in a brutal war in which 3 per cent of the US population was killed or wounded, including the US President. The 90th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence saw almost half the nation under military occupation, its productive capacity pretty much paralyzed. Meanwhile Britain and its Empire were entering their most glorious period.

    So if Jo were writing in 1866 I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find her concluding that ‘1776 and all that’ had been an unmitigated disaster, that the Americans were fools to have left the embrace of Britain, and that anyone celebrating the Fourth of July that year was doing nothing more than celebrating “treachery and a completely needless act of violence”.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    German-American: “Consider: Maybe I’m forgetting my American history, but I don’t recall centuries of gross British oppression of America leading up to 1776. Given that, George Washington et.al., could be viewed as nothing but rebellious traitors; I’m sure if America had lost the war they would have been hanged en masse without a moment’s hesitation. ”

    Define gross abuses. While not the various and sundry acts in Ireland, there were the various “Intolerable Acts,” some of which were reacted to so strongly that a repudiation of the specific acts were repudiated in the American Bill of Rights. If I recall my American history, the Colonials were not all that keen on independence in the beginning, wanting merely “the rights of Englishmen” and a political settlement. It was not until a goodly ways into the conflict when independence was embraced by the Colonial leadership. Were the British not so stiff-necked, the United States might have remained part of the British Empire and, later, the Commonwealth. Ironically, this might have done something to keep Ireland…

  • EWI

    Ruddock feels that before 1916 there was a chance Ireland’s divisions could be eased by joint resistance to the common enemy.

    Ruddock believes that Ulster Unionists would suddenly turn around and embrace “Rome Rule”? Is that what he really expects the rest of us to believe, as well?

  • Dave

    FAO Kensei

    “And yes, it would be a terrible thing for Ireland to still be under the dominion of the UK. I believe, and I believe very firmly that controlling your own destiny is infinitely preferable to being ruled by others.

    And that would go for Scotland and Wales too, and I think their Nationalist movements will get a boost when the Tories get in and go counter to their wishes.”

    This is about the only thing you have written that I can agree with. You would then concede that and Independent Northern Ireland would be better for the People of Northern Ireland?

    If it is good for Scotland and Wales why is it not good for the People of Northern Ireland?

    Come on Kensei one way or the other please.

  • Jo

    “There are many people from your community Jo who are now going to Britian and they’re not coming back. It’s being termed a Protestant brain-drain.”

    Have I ever, ever said I was a Protestant? Your assumption that I am proves your sectarianism.

  • Jo

    Re: US Independence, I would indeed have had a poor view of 1776 in 1866, particularly in the aftermath of a 5 year civil war! I shouldnt have thought Irish nationalists would want to look too closely at the US history as one reason for its success was the total annihilation and not displacement of the original population…..had the Americans lost in the 1770s, Washington woud indeed have been hung..perhaps there would have been a great uprising in the next election etc etc….

    Kensei

    I dont have to be positive about celebrating 1916, you do. I see the celebration of that time as negative and anachronstic and I have said why. I would guess that 1 million in the North agree with me. In a poll, dont forget, just half of RoI voters felt the Government’s plans for a military parade are appropriate with one fifth declaring they “couldn’t care less” about the Rising…

    And not one person has addressed the possibility that this sort of celebation and homage could be encouraging an entirely new wave of recruits over the next ten years to the CIRA or RIRA.

    When another Omagh happens, will any of those defending these “celebrations” feel any guilt?

  • shamo

    I think that Jo has made an interesting and compelling point.

    As an Irish republican, I was opposed to this conmmemoration on two grounds. One, that the 1916 leaders, a group of radical socialists and republicans, would have opposed the partitionism, corruption and opportunism of many of those commemorating them. Two, because this is a terrible time to be antagonising unionists with ghastly state military displays and the trumpeting of one tradition.

    It is not long ago that the Celtic Supporters Club and a number of hooligans denied unionists the civil right of marching in what could be their capital city. This was a victory for rejectionist unionism. While Fianna Fáil and SF have seperately held commemorative events of 1916 for many years, these are sectional things, and were not a statement of what the ‘state’ is, nor an attempt to use 1916 as an endorsement for that state. In abusing 1916, Bertie is hadning another victory to rejectionist unionists – presenting this state as ‘green’, but not orange, representative of one tradition alone.

    This even manifested itself in the lexicon of RTÉ broadcasters and TDs, who called the events a ‘celebration’. James Connolly or Patrick Pearse would not have ‘celebrated’ until Ireland was free, and socialist at that. And not some grubby sectarian hotchpotch of free stater opportunists and unionist dinosaurs. We need an inclusive, modern, open approach to nation building, not this sectarian prattle.

  • Jo

    Thnak you Shamo. Further, I am not a rejectionist Unionist at all, I did and do support the GFA.

    That was my earlier point which UI sought to mock – if people like me feel what I do about 1916, how much more intense will be the reaction of a DUP-type Unionist react?

    I suspect a military parade on Easter Sunday (with memories of another aborted parade a few weeks ago) has handed DUP strategists something they couldnt have dared hope for.

  • Henry94

    shamo

    The opinion of Connolly and Pearse on how the republic turned out is beside the point. The point was self-determination. Churchill lost the 1945 election having done so much to make sure Britain was still able to have elections.

    Likewise the ideas of Pearse and Connolly are not something we have to “live up to”

    If you want Socialism you have to get the Irish people of today to vote for it. It’s up to us and for that we can partly thank the 1916 leaders.

  • kensei

    “This is about the only thing you have written that I can agree with. You would then concede that and Independent Northern Ireland would be better for the People of Northern Ireland?

    If it is good for Scotland and Wales why is it not good for the People of Northern Ireland?

    Come on Kensei one way or the other please. ”

    Mainly because almost 40% of the population view themselves as Irish. “Northern Ireland” means absolutely nothing to me, and to a hell of a lot of other people. Internal tensions would make the stater unstable, which is what we have now.

    There are other reasons though. I don’t think the six counties could survive on it’s on, and I don’t think that having two small states this close competing for the same investment would result in a “price war”, in terms of taxes and incentives which be to the detriment of the people in both states. The North would benefit from the “Irish” brand being applied, and the Irish government could help kove investmnet North to fill some of the vacuum of public funds that would result of leaving the Union. There are a lot of sound economic reasons, but I’ll be honest, the main one is I view myself as Irish as it is what makes sense to me.

    Though an “Independent NI” would probably be better, in the long run than being in the Union.

    “I dont have to be positive about celebrating 1916, you do.”

    I didn’t ask you to be positive. I asked you what I could do to make the event less uncaceptable to you. This is another tactic you use Jo. When people ask you what you would like done you say “That’s not up to me, it’s up to you”. Which maybe true, but if you give me no indictation I’m not really going to have idea.

    “I see the celebration of that time as negative and anachronstic and I have said why. I would guess that 1 million in the North agree with me.”

    What about the millions who do. Again, I want a United Ireland but not at any cost. I want one where we celebrate 1916 and 1690. Sometimes you have to learn to deal with things you don’t like, and learn to understand other people’s feelings. You have made no attempt to understand my feelings towards the event.

    “In a poll, dont forget, just half of RoI voters felt the Government’s plans for a military parade are appropriate with one fifth declaring they “couldn’t care less” about the Rising…”

    That’s good. That’s healthy. Different degrees of patriotism and msome people who couldn’t care less. I find that Ireland infintiely preferable to one where 100% agree on everything. That strikes me as a little right wing for my tastes.

  • Jo

    Hey millions of people do unacceptable things, and you know well the countres where millions watched military rallies over the decades.

    Worth emulating are they?

    I have made a positive suggestion which you have ignored.

    Celebrate the establishment of the Irish Republic – the 50th anniversary was in 1999. Oh sorry, youve missed it? Never mind there ll be another chance in 2049. Try and be patient now!

    Not one protesting voice could be raised against that.

  • Joseph

    However I cannot understand why people have a problem with the Easter rising. It’s a celebration of a country’s independence, the same as the USAs Independence Day.

    A country was occupied a long time ago by a foreign force, that country tried to liberate it self. That will obviously cause some division.

    If Orange marches are fine then what is wrong with an Easter rising march? People were killed in both circumstances, albeit for different reasons. Its all about tolerance.

    I fail to see what that has got to do with the Great War. They would have all had to fight at some point, depending on how the war went. Some people chose to battle an aggressor over seas. Others tried to liberate their home. How this is spitting in anyone’s face I do not know. Maybe I am naive, but I think some people read too much into things and over complicate them.

    I also fail to understand how anyone with single logical bone in them. Can think it is right for any other country to occupy and control another. If it is not right, then that occupied country has a right to its independence. That is not likely to come peacefully.

    Also independence by its nature is going to mean some division. However that does not mean everyone has to be bias and violent. There is a thing called tolerance.

    The difference with Ireland as a whole and the likes of Iraq is that the occupation has been going on for so long that it has created another culture of sorts. People now have many generations worth of history tied to the land. As such no actual single solution is going to make everyone in the North happy.

    Finally with regards to violence and the death of innocents. Any war or fight someone always gets heart, although this may not be right I do believe it is sometimes the only way. I believe that non-violent means should always be the primary objective. Does anyone think that pacifism would have one any of the World Wars? Or that no innocents lost their lives?

    This is just my view, which is badly written. Take it anyway you wish. As with everything, everyone will read into it whatever he or she wants to.

  • kensei

    “Celebrate the establishment of the Irish Republic – the 50th anniversary was in 1999. Oh sorry, youve missed it? Never mind there ll be another chance in 2049. Try and be patient now!

    Not one protesting voice could be raised against that.”

    Except mine. As a Northern Nationalist, that event excludes me. A lot.

    Try and get some empathy, would you?

  • lib2016

    Great to see real debate starting on the meaning of 1916 and it’s relevance for today. If we can move on so far after one minor event on one weekend how far are we going to get over the next ten years?

  • Kensei- slightly off topic, but one of your comments from yesterday is in today’s Guardian

  • German-American

    “Define gross abuses. While not the various and sundry acts in Ireland, there were the various “Intolerable Acts,” some of which were reacted to so strongly that a repudiation of the specific acts were repudiated in the American Bill of Rights.”

    My point wasn’t that in 1776 Americans had no cause to complain of their treatment by Britain. My point was rather that the entire history of America up to 1776 arguably justified fewer complaints against British rule than the entire history of Ireland up to 1916. Given that, from the perspective of 1866 someone like Jo could argue that American revolt against Britain was even less justified than Irish revolt, and had more disastrous consequences.

    “I shouldnt have thought Irish nationalists would want to look too closely at the US history”

    Actually, I think Irish nationalists should look closely at US history, if only to get a feeling for the magnitude of the task before them. After the US civil war it took at least a generation or two for people in the US South to feel truly part of the United States again (probably not until WWI or so), and it took almost a hundred years for the economy of the US South to get close to parity with that of the US North.

    Based on that schedule, if true unification of Ireland does occur (and I don’t think it’s inevitable) then I wouldn’t expect it until several decades from now, possibly after 2050 or so, when the bulk of the population (including in particular most if not all of the politicians in power) has no personal experience of the Troubles.

  • Glen Taisie

    Watching yesterdays live coverage reminded me of watching during my unemployed days the state funerals of Brezhnev, Andropov and Cherenko in 1982, 1984 and 1985

  • Keith M

    mcDowell’s statement combined with the recent comments by Bertie Ahern have confirmed my suspicion that’s yestday’s military parade was a politically motivated one to try and counter the potential political threat from SF/IRA. While I can understand FF feeling a need to do this kind of thing, I find it deeply depressing that the PDs have gone along for the ride.

    The only party who have come out of the whole thing with any credit are Labour, who quite rightly suggested that equal prominence be given to the hundreds of (mainly Irish) innocent lives that were lost in the 1916 rising.

  • Jo

    I agree with you Keith.
    Do you often sympathise with Labour? 🙂
    This is hopeful!

  • lib2016

    Can someone enlighten me (pun intended) as to what republicanism is about if it is not about an attachment to the ideas behind the French and American Revolutions? What am I missing here?

    There are differences about what constitutes democracy and how we get there but are there really still people who want to bring back the divine right of kings, imperialism, etc?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    German-American: “My point wasn’t that in 1776 Americans had no cause to complain of their treatment by Britain. My point was rather that the entire history of America up to 1776 arguably justified fewer complaints against British rule than the entire history of Ireland up to 1916.”

    Were you there? If not, which histories are you reading, English or American? The men and women on the ground felt their treatment warranted some sort of response. It should be noted that their first responses were not armed revlot, but protest. Undue taxation, the quartering of English troops in colonial homes without recompense, the lack of representation in Parliment were protested. Battle did not come until the British marched on Lexington and Concord and even then the effort was at reconciliation, not independence. You are comparing apples and oranges. American indepence, while craved by some radicals like Samuel Adams, was not the original motivating force for the Continental Congress.

    As for complaints, were I to hold up a new shoe, outwardly perfect in all external measures, could you tell me where in it pinched my foot?
    The only thing, ultimately, that justifies a revolt, is success.

    German-American: “Given that, from the perspective of 1866 someone like Jo could argue that American revolt against Britain was even less justified than Irish revolt, and had more disastrous consequences.”

    Ultimately, the only thing that justifies a revolt is success — success in the revolt and afterwards. The War between the States was fought over many fo the same perceptions and issues of the Continental Revolt – taxation and representation — the abolition of slavery was a by-blow of the process.

  • Brian Boru

    “The only party who have come out of the whole thing with any credit are Labour, who quite rightly suggested that equal prominence be given to the hundreds of (mainly Irish) innocent lives that were lost in the 1916 rising.”

    They were nearly all killed by the Helga (British gunboat) remember, not the rebels.

  • German-American

    “Were you there? If not, which histories are you reading, English or American? The men and women on the ground felt their treatment warranted some sort of response.”

    I’m not going to follow this line of thought because I don’t actually disagree with you, and just because I was channeling Jo doesn’t mean I agree with her. In fact I think that in retrospect the American War of Independence was a good thing, I’m personally very happy to be living in an independent republic, and I’m quite glad to celebrate the Fourth of July. By extension I also think that Irish nationalists are quite entitled to hold the beliefs that they do.

    My point was rather that Jo’s position was understandable in the context of today, just as (for example) I could understand the feelings of someone living in the US South in 1866. I think if Ireland is indeed “psychically unified” in the future (as opposed to simply unified de jure) then it will not be because Irish nationalists change Jo’s mind, but because they change the minds of Jo’s descendants.

  • kensei

    “Kensei- slightly off topic, but one of your comments from yesterday is in today’s Guardian”

    Win! Is it up on the web?

  • shamo

    “However I cannot understand why people have a problem with the Easter rising. It’s a celebration of a country’s independence, the same as the USAs Independence Day.” – Joseph

    Unfortunately, Joseph, Ireland is not independent yet. On their last figures, in 2005, there were more British soldiers garrisoned in Ireland than Iraq. They still deny democracy in the North and, despite the ‘RA commiting republican apostasy – giving up its guns and accomodating British power in the Six Counties – they still use ‘republican violence’ as the rationale for usurping local power.

    There is a lot to commemorate about 1916, but I for one am putting the celebrations on hold. As the great Presbyterian republican Robert Emmett put it, ‘let no man write my epitaph until Ireland is free’.

  • Jo

    “Have I ever, ever said I was a Protestant? Your assumption that I am proves your sectarianism.

    Silly comment, Jo. I said there were many people from your community (i.e. unionists) leaving NI and that it is being termed (i.e. by academics and the like) a “Protestant brain-drain”.

    If you want sectarian comments, here is something you wrote about the Easter parade yesterday:

    “The sickening blasphemy of it is that this act of worshipping violence takes place on Easter Sunday. Truly, 1916 has become for Catholic bigots the 1690 of the Protestant bigot.”

    Apparently all those kids I saw celebrating the Easter parade on Sunday are “Catholic bigots”. Disgusting comments from Jo.

    And your failure to answer my other points shows just how much you struggle when it comes to debating 1916.

    People are of course entitled to their views on the Rising but it’s a shame that some like yourself base their views on shoddy, untruthful beliefs.

    Your latest gripe is that Sunday’s march could lead people into supporting CIRA! Another silly comment as a huge aspect of Sunday’s march was giving respect to the Irish Army.

    You’re all over the place. 🙂

  • Jo

    My point, for those intelligent enough to see it, is that for Catholic bigots (they do exist, although, of course, none are so blind) 1916 is the Protestant bigots 1690. Thats not quite the same thing as saying all those celebrating 1916 were bigots.

    The point is made and proven, I believe. Perhaps a debate in Irish might prove a little easier for some than argument using the language of the “oppressor”?

  • shamo

    Something to ponder on, Jo, is the fact that the then Pope offered up a celebratory mass when William of Orange defeated his Catholic foes in Ireland. 1690 was about imperialism and greed. 1916 was about combatting exactly that. Remember, the Catholic church excommunicated many of those who fought in 1916; Ireland has ever been dominated by two imperial regimes, and I’m not sure which one is worse.

  • Joseph

    “Shamo” – I meant as free as it ever will be. As I did go on to say, there is no one solution that will make ‘everyone’ in the North happy.

    ‘let no man write my epitaph until Ireland is free’ is a good quote. But I don’t think it will ever happen. A lot of people have a lot of history in the North, as I said it has an individual culture. Removing the British influence from the North will make a lot of people unhappy, is this fair for them? Where as if you strengthen such a bond also makes a lot of people happy is that fair?

    Whether I like it or not is beside the point. But Ireland is as free as is likely to happen.

    I hope that this did not come out the wrong way.

  • Jo

    “My point, for those intelligent enough to see it, is that for Catholic bigots (they do exist, although, of course, none are so blind) 1916 is the Protestant bigots 1690. Thats not quite the same thing as saying all those celebrating 1916 were bigots.”

    So your point is Catholic bigots like 1916? Huh? So those who dislike Protestants like the Easter Rising? Why would that be? LOL.

    And if you believe 1916 is for Catholic bigots, then does that mean Catholics who support the Rising are bigots?

    Explain your baffling points. You are really struggling!

  • Jo

    UI

    Your highly personal unprovoked attack on me on JOBLOG means I no longer regard you as someone that I wish to discuss anything with.

    I would draw the attention of posters to this individuals obsession with me and ask them to consider his credibility and motivation.

    Moderator, please note.

  • woof mcdog

    Jo wrote

    “Hey millions of people do unacceptable things, and you know well the countres where millions watched military rallies over the decades”.

    um yes Britain.

    Of course they were remembering the valiant fight of the British to uphold the rights of small nations.

    Excuse me while I laugh my arse off.

    Every country has its symbols, national myths, flags etc.. And most often these dissolve into ridicule under any serious scrutiny…but how is it that Ireland is expected to be any better by people who im sure would have no problems upholding the right of orange men, or the British establishment to celebrate of remember what they hold dear.

    Maybe we in Ireland should be better, maybe we shouldnt celebrate any form of militarism, but hey I dont remember the Irish having a Malaya an Aden a Keen-yah.

    So why dont we knock off all these remembrance things and let the past go – what do you say Jo?.

  • Jo

    “Maybe we in Ireland should be better”

    Yes indeed I think “we” should be, Mr McDog.

    My openness to Irishness is a matter of record, but dont forget my music is the Who, Morrison & Springsteen (whose song “The Rising” took on new meaning over recent days) as well as Bono and Moore.

    My literature is Hardy and Shakespeare as well as Yeats, O’Casey and Joyce.

    All 3 of the latter took Irishness and Irish people to task before today. In my own humble or notsohumble way I do the same. I don’t expect thanks for that, just a little respect will do.

    Not considering that the island of Ireland contains perhaps 2 million people who have a negative view of 1916 is a dangerous thing, particularly when the task of unifying a people should be taking precedence over territorial unification.

  • Jo

    Your highly personal unprovoked attack on me on JOBLOG means I no longer regard you as someone that I wish to discuss anything with.

    I would draw the attention of posters to this individuals obsession with me and ask them to consider his credibility and motivation.

    Moderator, please note.”

    Puzzling stuff. Here is what you just wrote on your blog about me Jo and I have no problem drawing readers to the thread in question. It can be found here.

    If you want insults, get a load of this from Jo towards me:

    “You really are a fucking stupid, ignorant arsehole.

    1
    The email is the Joblog email, its for anyone who wants to contact regarding this blog. I have responded to dozens of emails in recent months and I/we will continue to do so.
    2
    I have asked Jacqui to comment on Joblog, for which she needs a Blogger ID and a blog. To be quite honest with pricks like you here I wonder if she’ll think it worthwhile.
    3
    I have commented on her post as she is at work today.
    4
    She is well aware of ATW as unsurprisingly we have talked about blogging before.
    5
    Not worth commenting on. You are clearly a sick sad individual whose anti-British attitudes are something both of us agree on.
    6
    I never ever said that picture was of me, it is clearly obtainable by entering attention whore in google. I didnt think anyone would imagine it was me.
    7
    Jacqui is less familiar with Irish matters than I, by her own admission. She will post on wider issues, as she wishes. her veiws do not coincide with mine on some things.
    8
    The only problems are you own repressed sexuality and your lack of a girl friend or boyfriend – and a life. In future, you comment on posts here or your posts will be deleted forthwith.

    This is a concerted effort to drive JOBLOG off the blogosphere and discredit it and me.

    Far from being the number 1 Irish nationalist blog, as you boasted some while back, you have succeeded in embarrassing yourself and exposing your naivete for all to see. The best advice I can give you again is – get a gf/bf.

    Matter Closed.

    I am sorry to other readers who should be well aware by now of this guys preoccupation with people with different views and a different sexuality.”

    Don’t try and portray the victim, Jo. it doesn’t suit you.

    Your failure to answer my points on this thread which had nothing to do with your own site, is noted.

  • Link didn’t work. It is here.

    Bit harsh! 🙂

  • Jo

    Moderator,

    I did signal my concerns.

  • Jo,

    I have been on Slugger a long time and I don’t believe Mick Fealty and Pete Baker will buy into your attempt to discredit me personally.

    If we could get back on topic, I would appreciate an answer to the points I put to you on this thread which were in no way hostile towards you, in contrast to your comments towards me on your own site.

  • woof mcdog

    Jo I’ve been reading your blog, terribly interesting.

    Do you have a problem with Casement’s homosexuality? Do you think Republicans would have a problem with it?.

    Stop being silly.

    So you seriously think 1916 inspired our more recent troubles?. Ah yes thats why the IRA were so active in 1966.

    I mean when my family were being burnt out in east Belfast the mob was shouting “That bastard Pearse may have liked young boys”.

    No big mouth Paisley, No UVF, No pogroms…a few simple reforms…..No IRA. Its really that simple,
    unless you are completely deluded.

  • Brian Boru

    “My point, for those intelligent enough to see it, is that for Catholic bigots (they do exist, although, of course, none are so blind) 1916 is the Protestant bigots 1690. Thats not quite the same thing as saying all those celebrating 1916 were bigots.”

    I accept that Catholic bigots from the Provos and dissident Republicans have sought to justify their actions by exploiting 1916. It is important though not to believe such propaganda by those groups. People should see the wood from the trees. At a time when more British people than ever are recognising 1916 are part of the collapse of imperialism worldwide, I hope that Unionism will eventually realise also that this was the case – notwithstanding the legalistic question as to whether we were part of the UK or not. A stroke of a pen on the Act of Union did not make the Irish people feel British overnight. A representative body of Irish opinion did not give assent to the Union. In that context we should analysis the democratic legitimacy of British rule in Ireland and not just the supposed flaws of the men and women of 1916. I hope in time Unionism will reach that point.

    It irritates a great many Southern nationalists and constitutional republicans to hear both the paramilitaries in the North and Unionist politicians and commentators draw parallels between 1916 and the activities during the Troubles. It is a false parallel, borne of selective amnesia of the facts by both sides. This amnesia forgets that in 1916 the rebels were fighting soldiers and not attacking civilians.

  • spartacus

    jo

    the framework through which unionists view events in irish history is a historical product itself–made up in roughly equal parts of deep-rooted sectarianism, inspired myopia, and paranoid delusion.

    you seem to think that unity will come when the rest of us accept that this bitter, twisted, malicious view of the past has as much legitimacy as any other. that’s not a recipe for unity, its a recipe for perpetual division and inequality. your strin of missives about 1916 are little more than an attempt to invest small-minded sectarianism with some kind of coherent view of the past. why does the kind of malicious take on the past that you advocate any more acceptable, legitimate than, say, a white south african’s wistful reminiscing about the good old days before the ‘kaffirs’ got up off their knees?

  • Kensei
    “”Kensei- slightly off topic, but one of your comments from yesterday is in today’s Guardian”

    Win! Is it up on the web?”

    Nope, for some reason their daily blogwatch isn’t put up on the web. If I can get the international version tomorrow, I’ll post it.

  • Jo

    Mr McDog

    Thank you for reading my blog. I mentioned Casement’s homosexuality as it was something which republicans denied for decades – until it was proven to be true.

    If you read my blog you would see one very good reason why a homosexual man wouldnt present any problems for me – but for devout Catholics, reared on deified images of martyrs in 1916?
    A big problem, I would have thought. I appreciate poeple dont like being shown their gods have clay feet and the bitterness I have experienced over my critique of 1916 would lead me to think that this is one iconoclast that republcians only have time for when I attack unionists. That aint the way I work.

  • Brian Boru

    “why does the kind of malicious take on the past that you advocate any more acceptable, legitimate than, say, a white south african’s wistful reminiscing about the good old days before the ‘kaffirs’ got up off their knees?”

    I think that is a very peculiar comparison to make. Irish Nationalists are closer categorically to the oppressed blacks of South Africa. We endured centuries of Penal Laws which turned us all into criminals in our own country for daring to practice our religion. We could not vote, sit in parliament or local-government, go to any form of education at home or abroad, buy land, enter commerce, inherit lands on the same basis as Protestants, and for centuries we could not export our products to other countries. We were forced into agrarian poverty befitting the Third World – 47% of the population of Ireland lived in one-room huts in 1841. Our population was decimated by an artificial famine in which our food was sold in Britain or used to feed British garrisons occupying other countries.

    It is not us who are comparable to the white supremacists in South Africa. And I don’t want to tar all Protestants with the one brush, but in so far as people on this island were behaving like them in the past, they tended not to be Catholic – and that is a statistical fact. The men and women of 1916 desired to “cherish all the children of the nation equally, oblivious of the differences, carefully fostered by an alien government, to divide a minority from a majority in the past”. This represented a desire to heal old wounds. I believe their vision should be an inspiration to efforts to counter sectarianism.

  • Jo

    Brian,

    Your responses to my posts have been by far the most thoughtful and helpful and have helped reassure me that misinterpretation of what I have said on this subject is not down to me. Thanks.

  • spartacus

    brian

    reread mine please. i think you’ve misunderstood my point, which was to suggest that the unionist perpective on the rising is steeped in its hotility to the natives, much as white sa’s view their retreat in the face of black resistance.