Saturday 10 December 2016

The Irish people have reclaimed their history

Published 29/03/2016 | 02:30

Michael D Higgins said the leaders of 1916 were 'advanced thinkers, selfless women and men, who took all the risks to ensure that the children of Ireland would, in the future, live in freedom and access their fair share of Ireland's prosperity' Photo: Mark Doyle
Michael D Higgins said the leaders of 1916 were 'advanced thinkers, selfless women and men, who took all the risks to ensure that the children of Ireland would, in the future, live in freedom and access their fair share of Ireland's prosperity' Photo: Mark Doyle

IT may have taken a century, but over the last few days in commemorating the centenary of the Rising some refreshing new light, and even lightness, has finally filtered through some very gritty old windows concerning our past.

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This time, there were no countermanding instructions, and the people came out in their hundreds of thousands to mark what was truly a special moment in our history.

For the first time in generations the people of the country had an opportunity to take ownership of their own history and wrest it back from those who have attempted to hijack it for their own ends. William Butler Yeats put it adroitly when he said: "All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions."

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