Friday 15 December 2017

Centenary will breathe life into old Rising myths

Commemoration of 1916 tends to ignore the complexity of Irish history

Thousands gather to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising at the GPO in Dublin
Thousands gather to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising at the GPO in Dublin
Irish soldiers take part to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising at the GPO in Dublin. Niall Carson/PA Wire
President Michael D Higgins inspects a guard of honour during the commemoration to mark the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising at the GPO in Dublin
Irish soldiers take part in the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising at the GPO in Dublin. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Irish Air Corp PC9 flypast take part to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising at the GPO in Dublin. Niall Carson/PA Wire
REVOLUTION: A building in Dublin’s O'Connell Street is torn apart during the 1916 Easter Rising

Dermot Meleady

THE year 2016 has come early. Barely has the 'decade of commemoration' begun to focus on the events of 1914 when Easter 1916 is suddenly in the frame.

Prompted by the possibility of a royal presence at the centenary commemorations of the Rising, the guardians of the shrine of orthodoxy have sprung into defensive action.

The old Maoist Chinese leadership used to warn against "reversing correct verdicts". Professor Diarmaid Ferriter recently warned that the presence of royals at the sacred rites might "give succour to those who believed the Rising was unnecessary".

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