Tuesday 20 February 2018

Editorial: Visit will help to heal the wounds of history

Queen Elizabeth with President Michael D Higgins
Queen Elizabeth with President Michael D Higgins
The first state visit of an Irish President by Michael D Higginss to Great Britain is an event charged with symbolism

The first state visit of an Irish President to Great Britain is an event charged with symbolism. It is charged with the expectation of finally normalising relations between our two countries. With the centenary of the 1916 Rising looming, at last we are emerging from the fog of a troubled history into what most people believe and hope is a new era of tolerance and understanding.

Modern history has tended to emphasise the political and religious differences and tensions between the two countries, rather than our shared language (the second official language of Ireland) and the cultural, sporting and many other links that have bound us together for good and ill since ancient times.

There is no denying that our shared past has been a troubled one. From the Famine to the IRA bombing campaign in Britain, the scars have run deep. But this is not the time for 'whataboutery' or reliving tragedies. History has judged the oppressor and the oppressed and it will continue to do so.

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