Monday 19 March 2018

Rear View: Rising fervour in Trinity College

Trinity College in Dublin
Trinity College in Dublin Newsdesk Newsdesk

Some tweedy, donnish types in the environs of Trinity College may have to turn their faces away in disgust next March. Minister Heather Humphreys this week launched a programme of events at Trinity to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Until now, the college has not been renowned for its militant republicanism and had a reputation as a bastion of the Ascendancy. Next year's events will include a reading of the Proclamation on the Dining Hall steps, and students will debate a motion: "This House believes The Rising should be celebrated".

At this point, many graduates of the college founded by Queen Elizabeth I will be spinning in their well-appointed graves.

It's all a far cry from Easter Week 1916, when students gathered on the rooftops of the college with rifles and took pot-shots at the passing rebels. Some were rewarded for their valour with an engraved trophy - the "1916 Defence of Trinity College Presentation Cup". This was given to those who took part in the "suppression of the Sinn Féin outbreak".

My word, how times have changed.

It's Michelle Martin

If you look at the Christmas TV schedule, it's all about Mrs Brown and Panti Bliss. They dominate the line-up. Panti, aka Rory O'Neill, will even give a Christmas message on TV3 as "Queen of Ireland". How long before our politicians realise that there is an almost fool-proof path to popularity? With his party stagnant in the polls, Micheál Martin should take a gamble - and appear dressed as a woman in future. At least it might alleviate the Fianna Fáil's problem with gender quotas.

l Hats off to former Smiths singer Morrissey, who won the Bad Sex in Fiction award for his novel List of the Lost. Judges were impressed by his description of lovers who "rolled together into one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation".

As Morrissey once sang himself, "heaven knows I'm miserable now".

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