Suicide rates reveal true legacy of Provo violence
Comparing the Troubles with 1916 is to ignore the different order of suffering, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
'As you walk into Leinster House today, you see to your right a statue of Constance Markievicz in military uniform", TD Padraig MacLochlainn TD told the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis last weekend.
He took a quick spin past uniformed Michael Collins and Cathal Brugha and the statues and busts of the 1916 leaders in the Dail chamber, thus illustrating that the political establishment even venerates the losers of the Civil War. "Leinster House is a shrine to violent conflict, yet those who ruled from there demanded that the nationalist people of the Six Counties, living in an Apartheid state, should take it lying down."
The message he's pushing relentlessly is that if we approve retrospectively of any of the undemocratic militaristic carry-on of 1916-23, we must logically salute what the Provisional IRA did in Northern Ireland. Faulting his logic is for those who, unlike me, venerate 1916 and all that. But it's time for a few home truths about the Provos' legacy.