Wednesday 21 February 2018

It's not just about picking a royal – we need to have a national conversation on 1916

Would Kate Middleton be the right choice for a royal visit? Picture: DAVID BEBBER
Would Kate Middleton be the right choice for a royal visit? Picture: DAVID BEBBER
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Should a member of the British royal family be invited to attend the centenary commemoration for 1916 in 2016? Several distinguished voices have been raised against the suggestion, led by Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, on the grounds that it is a distortion of what 1916 was all about. Indeed so: George V, the king at the time, was appalled at news of the 1916 Rising.

But then, to be historically accurate, so were many of our own families, especially if they were involved in any way in trade or commerce.

The Irish "shopkeeping class", as they were disparagingly called by those who thought themselves above making money, deplored the events of 1916, as it halted the transport and delivery of all merchandise. So did the Catholic Church. The Church of Ireland was even more outraged, since the cream of Anglo-Irish youth were dying in Flanders.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss