Wednesday 24 May 2017

Sinn Fein's attempt to seize the myth of 1916

Sinn Fein's commemoration for O'Donovan Rossa exposes their determined strategy to seize the opportunities presented by 1916, says Sarah Carey

STATE COMMEMORATION: A minute's silence is observed at the grave of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa in Glasnevin Cemetery last Saturday week Photo: Gerry Mooney
STATE COMMEMORATION: A minute's silence is observed at the grave of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa in Glasnevin Cemetery last Saturday week Photo: Gerry Mooney
Sarah Carey

Sarah Carey

Three dots joined up this week to reveal a grim precursor of 2016.

One: On a brief skite to Skibbereen last Saturday week, I observed both the entertaining sight of my colleague, Eoghan Harris, being accosted by fans in the local market, and a town in the throes of O'Donovan Rossa festivities. It was all very jolly; but I found myself in front of the Maid of Erin statue in the square, which Rossa unveiled in 1904, thinking: "What do I actually know about this guy? Apart from the oration. Which was a fine speech, in fairness."

Two: my question was answered on Tuesday mooching around the Irish Times website choosing which articles to read before the note asking you to subscribe pops up. (Eh, no.) I spotted a letter titled "O'Donovan Rossa" and clicked. Now that was worth it.

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