The RIC commemoration is off. Was it a bridge too far to unionists?

Newstalk If you’re going to do a U turn, getting it over quick  limits the damage (even to bloggers like me). It’s remarkable how long politicians usually take to face up to the inevitable. Wisely not this time. With only 10 days to go, it had to be quick, with only a weasel word “ “deferred” substituted for “ cancelled.”   Was holding a commemoration in Dublin Castle for the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police a revisionism of history  too …

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“The centenary [of 1916] is surely a time for reflection, not celebration”

Before the year’s out it is notable of just how discretely all the centenaries of this year – so much looked forward to as a numinous year within Republicanism, and revered within unionism – were ‘celebrated’. It falls to that perennially awkward soul Denis Kennedy to ask some usefully difficult questions about the southern celebrations of the Easter Rising… Here’s two worth noting… Should, 100 years on, a modern parliamentary democracy, committed to the rule of law and peaceful settlement …

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What simple, imaginative elisions might suffice a genuine reconciliation for Northern Ireland?

Yesterday, Martin McGuinness (and a cohort of SF politicians from north and south) was at Messines, where thousands of Irishmen died in the Battle of the Somme.  An important gesture, no doubt. But in 2016, how is that decade of centenaries coming along in real Northern Ireland? In Derry the council has ordered the halting of work on the war memorial in the city’s Diamond. And in Magherafelt there’s an out of the blue proposal for a statue of Pádraig …

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