Wednesday 22 November 2017

Centenary of struggle to make sense of Rising

The commemoration of 1916 raises interesting issues about the mentality that shaped it, writes John-Paul McCarthy

A RECENT suggestion that Britain's prime minister might be invited to attend the centenary of the 1916 Rising raises a raft of tantalising questions for the First Lord of the Treasury in 2016.

Can he or she project a more virile image than Asquith, their most elusive predecessor, who in private seemed ambivalent about General Maxwell's firing squads?

Can they avoid the drooling effusions that often disfigure prime ministerial addresses to the US Congress, and make it through the centenary without apologising for distant events the way Blair apologised for burning Mr Madison's White House?

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