Wednesday 13 December 2017

101 years after the Rising, nationalism is dead and gone

Ireland is a post-nationalist society. This will complicate matters if the UK breaks up and the North is cut adrift, writes Dan O'Brien

REMEMBERING: Easter Rising Centenary Celebrations on O’Connell Street Bridge, Dublin, in 2016. Photo: Conor McCabe
REMEMBERING: Easter Rising Centenary Celebrations on O’Connell Street Bridge, Dublin, in 2016. Photo: Conor McCabe
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

In the lead up to the commemorations of the 1916 Rising, which culminated last Easter Sunday and Monday, there were many voices expressing concern.

Would Sinn Fein dominate and exploit the commemorations? Would focusing on the Rising and the events surrounding it give a shot in the arm to the militant nationalist tradition? Would some in the younger generation, who do not remember the Troubles, come to romanticise or even glorify politically motivated violence?

That the events of last Easter were taking place at a time when nationalism and jingoism are becoming more prevalent across the western world, merely added to concerns about the risk of waking a slumbering beast.

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