For some reason I can’t post my comment in response to the latest comment from Curly K. She made a lovely comment on my earlier blog.
So I’ll write it as a post:
I’d be shocked if anyone agree with all my sentiments. And I’m glad you can see what I’m getting at when I bring 1916 into the picture. This evening’s news reports that the Minister is reconsidering what should be done about future events.
You are so right to point out that we got handed down to us a version of history (I would call it simply a story) which was written by the victors. Kevin Myers (Irish Times journalist) has been trying to write John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party’s achievements back into the story. I admire him for that, even though I think Myers is blind (or acts as if he was blind) to another part of the story.
The Greens celebrate 1916. Whatever takes place later this year will be a Green celebration, and no amount of spin will make it inclusive. There is too much unexamined yet for it to be possible to have an all-Ireland celebration. I don’t begrudge the Greens their day but I feel for the Orange tradition. I get no satisfaction from being partisan.
The best way to bring about a United Ireland is to reject the idea and reject the value of a United Ireland. Instead value what we have. Enjoy the traditions. Subject each tradition to merciless critique for its blindspots.
You are so right to assert that all own the right to Free Speech. Unfortunately the right to walk the streets wearing your beliefs in public was denied on Saturday and the government and police were not up to the challenge.
I’ve just listened to the Minister saying that “hindsight is a wonderful thing…” He is right there. But forecasting is a necessary skill if you are to guard freedom of speech. If only the Minister could have come out and said: “we got it wrong; we miscalculated; we’ll never let this happen again”.
If you lived in Belfast, and your brother had been killed during the war by the IRA, and you’d come South to mark the memory of his death, and you’d had to get back on that bus, would you return to Dublin with your children in order to walk down O’Connell Street again?
Would you run the risk that the government of the South would learn from this experience?