News Declan Lynch

Tuesday 17 January 2017

A proclamation of modernity or something ancient at work?

It was a progressive result, involving ancient forces of Catholic guilt and aren't-we-great-ism, writes Declan Lynch

Published 24/05/2015 | 02:30

People celebrate the Yes vote on the streets outside Dublin Castle. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 23/5/15
People celebrate the Yes vote on the streets outside Dublin Castle. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 23/5/15

We may be seeing this Yes vote as a proclamation of our modernity, and yet at the root of it, we may find some of our more ancient impulses.

  • Go To

Catholic guilt, for example, must have come into it. Perhaps the most powerful force on the Yes side was the guilt and the shame that we so rightly felt for the disgusting way in which so many gay people have been treated in this country, all down the line.

Sebastian Barry's suggestion that a Yes vote would be a form of apology, had a powerful resonance. And now the winning side must be magnanimous in paying tribute to the body which taught so many of us to be apologetic and embarrassed and ashamed in the first place, and it wasn't Sebastian Barry.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Read More

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice