Friday 24 November 2017

We can't let SF use 1916 to justify IRA's recent campaign of violence

A burned-out car which had been used as a barricade lies in a Dublin street in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising. Sinn Féin is seeking to link events in 1916 to the Provos' 30-year campaign of violence Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
A burned-out car which had been used as a barricade lies in a Dublin street in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising. Sinn Féin is seeking to link events in 1916 to the Provos' 30-year campaign of violence Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Eddie Molloy

Whatever about our aspirations to be the best little country in the world in which to do business, we could certainly win prizes for being best little nation in the world for remembering, if the programme of 1916 commemorations just started is anything to go by.

Remembering is important in nation-building and so is forgetting. In the final chapter of his monumental history of Europe since World War II, Tony Judt teases out the vital role played by remembering and forgetting in transcending the unbridled savagery of the war to create, miraculously, the Europe we have today.

Before Europeans could forget the horrors of the war, in order to get on with building peace and prosperity, they first had to remember.

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