The centenary of the ending of the War of Independence (1919-1921), the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921, the formation of the State in 1922 and the Civil War (1922-1923) will take place within the term of the next government.
This is an opportunity for the original Sinn Féin, now represented by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, to bring Civil War politics to a close by working together for the good of the people.
Everything Éamon de Valera set out in Document No 2, his alternative to the Treaty, has been achieved - and much more. Michael Collins said that the Treaty gave us freedom to obtain freedom. In terms of the Republic, that has been achieved. In relation to a possible united Ireland, how this can come about has also been agreed, ie there must be consent.
Our economy has full employment, the public finances, though still challenging, are under control - and must remain so. We have established a role for Ireland at the heart of Europe, having completed six presidencies of the EU. The 1916 Rising leaders, and the Irish Parliamentary Party would surely have been amazed if they could have seen what has taken place in the last century.
Much remains to be done. There is no need for a lurch to the left or to the right. What the country needs is decent people with decent policies, some centre-right, some centre-left, some new blood and a lot of elbow grease.
To this end, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens should form a five-year government. The environmental issues the Greens are pushing need to be addressed. Their transport plans for Dublin, connecting Luas, Dart and an underground should be costed and form the basis of a new plan.
There should be a power-sharing Taoiseach/Tánaiste on the Northern Ireland model.
The cabinet should consist of people who deserve to be in office and not there merely because of their geographical base or constituency demands.
The churches should be asked to partner the State in getting homeless people off the streets. There are many church properties where sturdy housing with private cubicles and sanitary facilities, backed by emergency planning permission, if necessary, could be provided. This should be accompanied by care and psychiatric services being made available to those who need them. The new government should give a specific date for when this temporary arrangement will end and the housing programme to meet the country's needs will be complete. Would reducing tax on landlords in exchange for reduced rents work? The special company tax rate does.
Let me give some examples of things that can be made radically different. Cherry Orchard, in Dublin 10, has 3,000 houses, 90pc of which are local authority owned. It has one corner shop and two prisons. St Ultan's campus there provides integrated care and education for one of the most disadvantaged communities in Ireland. It is turning a community around. If this could be made sustainable and the long-promised retail services were brought on for this community, the whole community will thrive. This could be the educational and community model for the future.
Nearby, Bluebell and Inchicore should be taken as a gateway project. This was once an idyllic community. It has been run into the ground. The Grand Canal and River Camac should be central features of renewal. Inchicore should be connected via the village and the Memorial Park to the Phoenix Park by a pedestrian bridge. Why not name the bridge connecting this community (where WT Cosgrave is buried) and the Phoenix Park (where de Valera resided for 14 years), as the de Valera-Cosgrave Bridge? Could there be a better symbol of reconciliation at a time of national commemoration?
Stop taking sites in Inchicore in isolation - do a full, gateway plan. Then follow it up with similar plans around the country.
There is much that a Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green Party government could do. Above all they should encourage the enterprising spirit to create the wealth we need to provide the sort of society Pearse, Connolly, Collins, Griffith, de Valera, Cosgrave and others could only have dreamt of.
Get radical and you will not be redundant is my advice to the three parties.
Meanwhile, a reinvigorated Labour (in partnership with the Social Democrats perhaps) will steal Sinn Féin's clothes and provide opposition. In time they will form part of an alternative government.
We've been here before. John A Costello led a five-party plus independents government in the 1950s, while 1977 saw Jack Lynch get a 20-seat majority in a 148-seat Dáil. Then, against all predictions, Fine Gael won the very next election in 1981. The Spring tide of 1992 and the Gilmore rise of 2011 show that voting patterns balloon and then burst. The Democratic Left and the Progressive Democrats, alas no longer with us, are further examples of voter experimentation.
There is no doubt that both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael need rebranding and internal reforms. They can do this from the government benches. Right now, their duty is to form a radical government.
A closing word of advice to Fine Gael. As Liam Cosgrave said, a bird never flew on one wing. Fine Gael needs two wings. In some role the party needs people like Denis Naughten, Lucinda Creighton and Brian Hayes. It is also time to build internal bridges of reconciliation.
Gay Mitchell is a former Fine Gael TD for Dublin South Central, Minister for European Affairs and MEP