• Desmond Fitzgerald and Kevin Myers seem to believe that Ireland was some sort of Shangri-la before the revolutionary period of 1916-1922; that a benign British government looked over the Irish masses with a paternal eye and strove for our well-being.
However, in Dublin, where the rising largely took place, the infant mortality rate was higher than in Calcutta.
Slum housing and conditions were the worst in western Europe. Homerule politicians were heading into another decade of achieving nothing worthwhile, while Conservatives and Unionists were arming themselves in case they did. Can we really believe that we would have been better off under this type of rule?
Look to the provincial towns of the UK: Bradford, Leeds, Oldham and Glasgow, and see what Irish cities would have looked like under indifferent London-centric Tory administrations. Yes, Irish independence did not achieve as much as it could have.
Unfortunately we merely replaced the Harrow and Eton ruling elite with a Clongowes and Blackrock version. However, to blithely hanker for days under imperial rule is merely attention-seeking at best and idiotic at worst.
Dr Gordon Kennedy
Glasnevin, Dublin 9