Saturday 10 December 2016

Easter 2016 celebration is a grenade that must be handled with care

Published 20/04/2014 | 02:30

1916 Easter Rising anniversary last year. Julien Behal/PA Wire
1916 Easter Rising anniversary last year. Julien Behal/PA Wire
Last week, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter came out strongly against plans to invite members of the Royal Family to the 2016 celebrations
Michael Collins (far right) himself told a Cork newspaper in 1922 that he was not convinced in retrospect that IRA violence in and of itself did the trick. Also pictured (l-r): Arthur Griffith, Éamon de Valera, Laurence O’Neill, and Michael Collins. Photo: RTE
'Where most people see an Easter egg, I see a Mills hand grenade'. Illustration by Jim Cogan

FOR the past year, I have been filled with foreboding about a nationalist fallout from the 2016 centenary celebrations. Where most people see an Easter egg, I see a Mills hand grenade. And with good reason.

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The celebrations of 1898 brought my grandfather into the IRB. The 1966 half- centenary prepared the Republic for the Provisional IRA. So unless we disarm the dark side of the 2016 grenade, we could be heading for another Hurt Locker.

Last week, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter came out strongly against plans to invite members of the Royal Family to the 2016 celebrations. He has been supported by John A Murphy and Billy Kelleher of Fianna Fail has also queried the visit. As the backlash gathers momentum, let's take a look at Professor Ferriter's two main objections.

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