Saturday 10 December 2016

Nobody has a monopoly on 1916 victimhood, says Primate

Sarah MacDonald

Published 25/04/2016 | 02:30

Church of Ireland primate Dr Richard Clarke. Photo: PA
Church of Ireland primate Dr Richard Clarke. Photo: PA

The head of the Church of Ireland says the narrative of the 1916 Rising is not simply about “Irish patriots and British soldiers” and that “nobody has a monopoly on victimhood”.

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Archbishop Richard Clarke said there is “more than one narrative in 1916 and its Rising”.

“We must live with a plurality of narratives, or our commemoration is a self-serving and disingenuous pretence,” he warned. He was speaking at a special commemorative service of Evensong at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin for all who lost their lives in the course of the Rising.

Elsewhere, the Church of Ireland Primate emphasised how many deaths there were among the general population, particularly in Dublin city, one hundred years ago.

“Far more than has ever been widely acknowledged until now,” he said.

Recalling how the focus of the commemoration of 1966 was “far narrower” and “more triumphalist”, Dr Clarke said Ireland today was called to discern a narrative that was both “more nuanced and less politicised”.

He cited Irish nationalist Tom Kettle, who was a friend of many involved in the Rising but died in a British Army uniform.

Irish Independent

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