Saturday 3 December 2016

Gene Kerrigan: Why Betty's visit will benefit the nation

While once we were slaves to the British monarch, we're now slaves to market forces, writes Gene Kerrigan

Published 27/06/2010 | 05:00

THERE are reasons to welcome the forthcoming visit to Ireland of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And none of them have to do with silly notions of "reconciliation". When the British army murders 14 Irish civilians we tend to take offence. When the British prime minister apologises, having exhaustively explored the matter, we tend to nod and say, okay, fair enough.

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Most of us can appreciate our mutual history as Germans and French people can appreciate theirs -- not as a series of battles to be brooded over and perpetually refought, but as unfolding events that led us to the present. Understanding our history is more important than reacting emotionally to it.

The things that divide us from and reconcile us with our neighbours are real. They are part of the ebb and flow of history. The notion of bringing over Betty Windsor, a relic of a medieval and primitive form of government, to somehow legitimise our neighbourly relationships is rather quaint.

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