Wednesday 22 November 2017

Chapter in history ends with the passing of Maggie and Mandela

This year is notable for the deaths of some of the world’s most influential figures, writes Donal Lynch

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Nelson Mandela
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
Colm Murray
Paul Walker, the star of the ‘Fast & Furious’ movie series, who died in a car crash in November at the age of 40

THERE were many big news stories in 2013 but when historians look back on the year, it may be recalled most especially for two deaths which seemed, all overstatement aside, to mark the end of a chapter in human history.

Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher were former adversaries — she once branded his ANC party a “terrorist” organisation — and the way in which they will be remembered was indicated in the very different tenor of the memorial celebrations which followed their deaths.

For Madiba, there was a fortnight of joyful, often bombastic, eulogy following his death on December 5 as world leaders and ordinary people united to celebrate his extraordinary life in which he helped bring down the internationally despised Apartheid government of South Africa and became a figurehead of inspiration all over the world.

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