Kevin Myers: Re-enactment of RIC ambush is repulsive
Published 28/01/2011 | 05:00
Well, I really was hoping someone else would get to this before I did: but no one has, so here goes. Was I the only person in Ireland who found the fancy-dress re-enactment last weekend of the slaughter of an RIC patrol at Glenwood in Co Clare in 1921 simply repulsive? According to this newspaper, a thousand people were present. Were there ice-cream sellers there? And hot-dog and souvenir stalls also?
What worries me especially is the apparent lack of a prevailing moral sensibility capable of differentiating between events that one may properly re-enact, and those one may not. In western culture generally, the only death commemorated with elaborate ritual is that of Jesus; and with good reason. What makes some select, one-sided IRA ambushes of a handful of unfortunates 90 years ago such an exception?
The outgoing Minister for Defence, who seems to spend every weekend attending such commemorations, said of Glenwood: "It gives us a sense of who we are and how we arrived at this stage."