Eammon McCann hits a rare dissonant note when he argues that the only real inheritors of the rebels of 1916 are those who continue to be unadulterated rebels – Republican Sinn Fein. He notes a particular reluctance to acknowledge the determination of many of the participants to build “a Catholic country for a Catholic people”:
Nobody knew in 1916 what the world would look like 90 years later or how Ireland might fit within it. People say of 1916 what suits their present-day politics. It would even be possible for advocates of a Catholic State for a Catholic people to assert their claim to the Easter tradition. The fact that they don’t draw this argument out says something about the decline of their self-confidence. There was far more religious fervour in the GPO than any of the special supplements or feature pieces I’ve read has acknowledged. Throughout the fighting, on the roof of the GPO, the rosary was recited at half-hourly intervals. I havn’t seen this mentioned anywhere in the past week.