I had intended post a long entry on the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, but the best laid plans and all that.
Perhaps it is no bad thing, since I suspect that those who read this blog don’t share my interest in the subject. But I do recommend this article by Ruth Dudley Edwards from the Irish Independent. For me it raises wider issues about the way in which we (ie people with progressive liberal views) are inclined to look at ethnic and national conflicts, not just in Ireland, but in the Middle East or former Yugoslavia etc. One side is labelled good and progressive, the other reactionary and anachronistic.
Yet there are usually shades of grey, right and wrong on both sides. For what it’s worth, I’m inclined to take a less negative view of the Easter Rising. Irish Catholics, an overwhelming majority on the island, had voted solidly for a separate Irish Parliament over 25 years and seven consecutive general elections. Although home rule was on the statute book by 1914, its implementation was suspended for the duration of the first world war. So it was understandable if many felt that constitutional nationalism had failed. But it is certainly the case that the Easter Rising has left a malign legacy in appearing to give precedence to physical force over democratic mandates.