Sunday 11 December 2016

Children shouldn't have to suffer 1916, leave that to the grown-ups

Pupils being dressed up in army uniforms toting rifles is an abhorrent way to mark the Rising

Will Hanafin

Published 27/03/2016 | 02:30

Living history: Andrea Farrell as rebel sniper Margaret Skinnider and Dave Swift as another sniper, from An Post GPO Witness History in Dublin. Right, a 2016 proclamation Photo: Maxwells Dublin
Living history: Andrea Farrell as rebel sniper Margaret Skinnider and Dave Swift as another sniper, from An Post GPO Witness History in Dublin. Right, a 2016 proclamation Photo: Maxwells Dublin

LP Hartley said the past is a foreign country and they do things differently there. That's why it's so repellent that in 2016 our children are being used as pawns to mark our century-old bloody Easter Rising.

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My heart has sunk so many times in recent months when I've seen a gun-toting child dressed in a military uniform trying to mimic some aspect of the Rising. I've looked aghast at TV news reports of children pretending to shoot other children to replicate the executions of the 1916 signatories.

I've glimpsed photos of tiny little fellas storming the GPO with guns and in slouch hats. I've browsed school website photo galleries to see artwork commemorating the Rising which would make any child psychologist wince. There are drawings done by innocent hands depicting a bleeding and tethered Connolly being executed by firing squad.

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