Well not quite representing the whole government…

A little addendum to that Croke Park ‘gesture’, that the British Government was considering… According to today’s Irish Times (subs needed), it would appear that it wasn’t quite all of the government:

Mr Hain confirmed in yesterday’s Irish Times that the British government was considering making a symbolic gesture to mark the killing of 14 civilians by British forces at Croke Park in 1920. He declined to speculate on the nature of a possible act of commemoration or if it might involve the laying of a wreath.

However, against a backdrop of rising unionist anger at the suggestion, Downing Street said yesterday: “First and foremost this is a rugby match, and we are not aware of any plans for any form of ceremony.” London sources also stressed that what was “paramount” were the wishes of the GAA and the IRFU. And they added: “The mere fact that the game is taking place where it is says all you need to know about the progress that has been made in Anglo-Irish relations in the past decade.”

There was also unconcealed irritation in Whitehall at Mr Hain’s suggestion that he looked forward to “backing Ireland to beat England” in the game, which he will attend as the representative of the British government.

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