Monday 21 April 2014

Improved Anglo-Irish relations are a lesson to all

Forty years ago today, furious protesters set fire to the British Embassy in Dublin, destroying the building.

Some sources say they numbered almost 30,000 and the embassy building in Merrion Square was besieged for almost three days.

The BBC reported at the time: "The mob threw hundreds of petrol bombs, as well as stones and other missiles. Fire engines which arrived to tackle the blaze were prevented from getting through for several hours."

Tensions were running at fever pitch following the shooting dead of 13 Catholic civil-rights marchers in Derry on Bloody Sunday by British soldiers.

The impact of the embassy attack undoubtedly made life difficult for the Irish in Britain at the time. Four decades on, and the relationship between the countries is unrecognisable from those dark days. History has shown us that both nations can live side by side in peace while being proud of our respective national identities.

Let's just hope that the huge improvements in Anglo-Irish affairs can act as an example to nations and peoples at war that reconciliation is always possible.

Irish Independent

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