Friday 28 October 2016

Why celebrate political violence?

An explosion on O'Connell Street in 1916
An explosion on O'Connell Street in 1916

THis week we were told by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys (left), among others, about the plans for the centenary of 1916 next year. Apart from all the parades and general pomp and ceremony, a copy of the Proclamation of Independence and a Tricolour are going to be sent to every school.

Engaging every schoolchild in the nation would be great if we were celebrating the day we became a Republic, or even the day the Free State was established. But neither happened in Easter 1916. In 1916 a group of people decided to deliver on their political beliefs through violence (inset). We've made them heroes and martyrs since.

But maybe we should pause and consider if celebrating violence is a good thing, even if it was the genesis of the State?

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