Good sense from Fionnuala O’Connor, when she pretty much asks how far does anyone think that lionising our past at the expense of lengthening the shadow of the future will take any of us…
As for O’Neill, thirty years after Loughgall and with ‘the war’ over now for at least twenty years according to republicans, it is past time to make the words real for republicans as well as unionists. Over should mean over.
The SAS opened up as the Loughgall eight crashed through the gates of the barracks with a bomb in a digger, which now makes them the patriot dead to O’Neill. The best republican rewrite-teams can do with that is not mention the bomb.
No matter how many martyrs’ memorials she addresses Michelle won’t look any more like Martin, the human bridge between wartime IRA and peacetime Sinn Féin. Or is the plan to be still memorialising the republican version of the Troubles 300 years down the line – as Orangemen remember Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne and the humiliation of the Catholic Irish that followed King Billy’s triumph?
Now there would be a fine act of simultaneous reciprocation, and reconciliation. Republicans proclaim an end to commemorations, and the Orange Order declares itself redundant for the good of society.
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