“As mayor of Donegal I’m erecting a monument to four people who perished needlessly, senselessly”

According to the BBC, there’s a row brewing over plans to erect a monument to those who died in a bomb which killed Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo. The Mayor of Donegal, Fianna Fail man explains the thinking behind such a memorial

Thirty years have passed and this country has undergone a massive transformation for the better. It is now time to move forward,” the mayor said. “I feel that it is now time that, as a people, we do something to commemorate what was a travesty of history with the murder of these innocent people like so many others on both sides.

“The people of this island north and south have a greater maturity now and stemming from that we now have the confidence to commemorate this tragic event by erecting a suitable commemorative feature,” Mr Byrne said.

“As a council, we would require permission from all the relatives of those involved to proceed with this. Should this be forthcoming we would take the views of all the families on board and commission a suitable commemorative feature.Ideally, I would like to see this overlooking Donegal Bay where this fateful event took place.”

Although Mullaghmore is in Sligo, as I recall, having been there at the time, the shock waves of that event where pretty strongly felt in Donegal30 years ago. Although that’s not the nature of Sinn Fein’s criticism of the project. The Irish Times also reports:

Sinn Féin councillor Padraig MacLochlainn said if the council put up a monument, it should be “mindful that well over 3,000 people from all sides lost their lives in the conflict. It would be wrong to erect a monument in relation to any one incident – it should be for all those who lost their lives if the objective is to achieve peace and reconciliation”.

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  • John East Belfast

    Oldruss

    Where did I say I was against memorials to any victim of the troubles where the legal authorities said it was murder ?

    This thread is about republicans being opposed to a memorial so stop changing the subject.

    Latcheeco

    “Clinging to the old criminalization line is just silly now John.”

    Why – it was the truth then and is the truth now.

    Go on tell me what national or international court said the killing of Mountbatten wasnt murder ?
    What legitimacy and on whose authority was he murdered ?

    That is why the vast majority of Irishmen like the Mayor and Gregoir above believe that particular crime brought nothing but shame on Ireland.

    As for the perpetrators being in Government – yes that is another shame on a very sizeable proportion of northern nationalists – thankfully southerners (on whose soil the memorial is to be erected) see them for what they are.

    However they only are in Govt after surrendering their arms and agreeing to stop murdering people – without achieving their aims – thus confirming the illegitimacy of their original methods.

  • oldruss

    J.E.B. – Putting up a memorial to Lord Mountbatten without a memorial to all the victims diminishes each of them. You still avoid any mention of the Dublin and Monaghan bombing victims from 1974. Surely the victims of those tragedies are as worthy of a memorial as is Lord Mountbatten.

    What exactly is it about Lord Mountbatten that makes him worthy of being singled out for memorialization by the Irish Republic? That he was a member of the Royal Family?

    If that’s the distinction, and we’re about putting up monuments to the Royals, perhaps the Irish War for Independence never happened.

    It seems to me that Irish citizens who are the victims of the Troubles are far more appropriate candidates for memorialization than Lord Mountbatten.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “You didn’t address the Dublin and Monaghan bombing victims.”

    No-one’s stopping you. Build away. You can call it the Whatabout Monument.

  • latcheeco

    JEB,
    Insurgencies don’t normally tend to be recognised or legitimised by jurisdictions they are trying to upset, or are always recognised other sitting governments, at least until they’ve won (the arch-terrorists and criminals Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin spring to mind). Is your premise that if you don’t have a sitting government backing you then you’re illegitimate. Those who signed the Declaration of Independence or who were in the G.P.O. might disagree.

    The fact that these insurgents are now in government in the North is a de facto acceptance and recognition that the insurgency was not at its root criminal (and that the criminalisation policy was merely tried and tested counter-insurgency gameplay) and their insurgency is also then further legitimised by their governing partners and the same governments whose judgement on these matters you seem to rely on. After all, who would set up a government of criminals? Who would govern with them? It would be preposterous 🙂

    We all believe it was a shame for Ireland that those people were killed. But most of us do not to see, or seek to portray, the killings as isolated events (without detracting from their horror) and believe it was even more of a shame for those who ultimately were responsible for the North.

    The prevailing wisdom from south of the border on Irish insurgencies always has to be tempered by the knowledge that it’s easy to sleep on another man’s wound and by the fact that when the same boys were themselves fighting the British and their supporters, they were up to similar activities if not worse, although again without the expressed rubber-stamping by the majority of the Irish people.

    But my point was that, wherever you stand, the idea of a monument is, for at least practical reasons, profoundly stupid.

  • latcheeco

    Should read “by other sitting governments”

  • oldruss

    #3-Jimmy Sands-“No-one’s stopping you. Build away. You can call it the Whatabout Monument.”

    The Lord Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma’s monument was, at the outset, proposed by the Mayor of Donegal Town, presumably to be funded with public revenues.

    Dragging up the old “Whataboutry” canard does a great injustice to everyone who was a victim of the Troubles. I was NOT suggesting a monument to the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings be built, but only suggested that there were many victims, like those bombing victims, who were at least as worthy of a memorial as was Lord Mountbatten. Better to build a monument to all the victims than to single out Lord Mountbatten for special treatment. It’s not all that difficult.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    J.E.B.

    If they put in place such a monument or even just marked the tragedy with a plaque, would you regularly pay it a visit in rememberance of Mountbatten?

    Gréagóir O Frainclín

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘You can call it the Whatabout Monument.’

    Jimmy your wit is losing its edge…that was especially poor !

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Dragging up the old “Whataboutry” canard does a great injustice to everyone who was a victim of the Troubles.”

    Well obviously if I’d known that mocking you was so offensive to the victims I would never have done it. You must be very important to them.

    RS

    I’m sure I’ve done far worse.

  • turd inspector 1st class

    Big Maggie:
    “Why is Mountbatten’s sexuality relevant to the
    discussion?”

    It’s called turd collecting dear, you go through a mans life, picking up all the little turds and putting them in a bucket, when the bucket is full you can declare that his execution is justifiable homicide.
    Simples

  • oldruss

    Obviously, Jimmy Sands, I’m not, “very important to [the victims of the Troubles].” (see #9 above)

    “Whataboutry” gets injected into discussions too often, IMHO. Whenever it is used, it is being dismissive of the value of the other side’s argument.

    In this case, it’s use was dismissive of the value of the lives of the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. The death of Lord Mountbatten, while a tragedy, is no greater a tragedy than the death of any of the 33 innocent civilians who were murdered in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, for example.

    The entire conversation among all sides needs to become less adversarial and more respectful, and sooner rather than later. Perhaps Eames-Bradley can provide a starting point. Building monuments to select victims of the Troubles is divisive and counterproductive.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Oldruss,

    Nothing I have said could be interpreted as remotely disrespectful to the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

    ““Whataboutry” gets injected into discussions too often”

    Indeed it does, oldruss, indeed it does.

  • oldruss

    I think, Jimmy Sands, that perhaps you thought I wasn’t going to see your tongue in cheek remark for what it was.

    It’s too bad that both sides seem to have a need to score points whenever they can. At least, point scoring here on Slugger doesn’t entail bashing in some poor kid’s head like what happened to Michael “Mickey-Bo” McIlveen.

  • dining chair

    As a council, we would require permission from all the relatives of those involved to proceed with this..Should this be forthcoming we would take the views of all the families on board and commission a suitable commemorative feature..dining chair