“It would all be funny if it were not so tragic.”

Also via the indispensible Newshound, in Saturday’s Irish News Patrick Murphy handed out some awards to the winners of “an unnecessary and obscene sectarian bloodbath, often displaying excessive inhumanity and barbarity.”

It was a shameful period in Irish and British history and it ended only when the main protagonists traded what they called principles for what Britain called power.

It is now the winners’ prerogative to write history on their own terms. But who will write the history of those who lost? Some lost their lives; some lost loved ones. Others lost their limbs or their sight or their sanity. Our entire society lost its dignity.

What began as a struggle for civil rights was hijacked into a war to end British rule in Ireland. It ended in an argument over how British rule in Ireland should be administered. On that basis it is not difficult to conclude who won.