News Ruth Dudley Edwards

Thursday 8 December 2016

Still obediently following Fenian instruction booklet

Gerry Adams wants to put the 1981 hunger strikers on a par with the men of 1916

Published 30/08/2015 | 02:30

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Since the mid-19th century, when nationalism got its grip on us, we have been politically a necrophiliac culture, worshipping our dead and seeking in their words and deeds instructions on how we, the living, should conduct our lives. We revere martyrs and use them to create a hunger for martyrdom.

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It's a kind of Irish Catholic version of Islamist fanaticism with the Proclamation of the Irish Republic taking the place of the Koran and various sayings of dead jihadis quoted like the Hadith.

The Irish Republican Brotherhood, aka the Fenians, began this in a big way after nationalism became sexy in the second half of the 19th century. They metaphorically dug up failed revolutionaries like Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet (whose good intentions had the unintended consequences of bringing death and destruction to good people) and by celebrating them as role models, inspired new generations to kill for Ireland.

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