Impatial team for War of independence and CIvil War Commemortions

Patrick Healy

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The fiasco of the delayed Royal Irish Constabulary commemoration demonstrates the need for rethinking these commemorations, especially with the centenary of the Civil war coming up. So I suggest an each to their own approach. My suggestion an impartial team should be set up in the Department of Heritage to organize separate Michael Collins commemorations for Fine Gael and the Pro treaty gene pool and other local commemorations for that side. Liam Lynch, Tadaig Kennifick, Ballyseedy and other Anti treaty commemorations for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein, Aontú, Eirigi, Saoradh, The Workers Party and other anti 1921 treaty parties and RIC/British Army commemorations for Unionists. Each member of the commemoration team should swear off joining political parties just like the Gardaí and Military.
 


runwiththewind

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The fiasco of the delayed Royal Irish Constabulary commemoration demonstrates the need for rethinking these commemorations, especially with the centenary of the Civil war coming up. So I suggest an each to their own approach. My suggestion an impartial team should be set up in the Department of Heritage to organize separate Michael Collins commemorations for Fine Gael and the Pro treaty gene pool and other local commemorations for that side. Liam Lynch, Tadaig Kennifick, Ballyseedy and other Anti treaty commemorations for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein, Aontú, Eirigi, Saoradh, The Workers Party and other anti 1921 treaty parties and RIC/British Army commemorations for Unionists. Each member of the commemoration team should swear off joining political parties just like the Gardaí and Military.
How about one to look into the British role in all of this both politically and militarily and the absolute failure of British parliamentary democracy 100 years ago and its continued failure in NI today.

And another look into the legality of the foundation of both states and the continued illegality against the Irish community there.

And another into the running of the FS/Rep over the last 100 years and the illegality of its actions against many its own citizens and the absolute failure to compensate these citizens.

Way beyond the abilities of Irish politicians and historians I should think.
 

blinding

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Won’t the FG West Brits order the Irish people to bow and scrape to the Brits to warm the cockles of FG West Brit Hearts !
 

McTell

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//
Each member of the commemoration team should swear off joining political parties just like the Gardaí and Military.

This reminds us that the "civil war" was really the sinn fein civil war. It wasn;t any more irish than the RIC - but it happened in ireland.

No allowance is ever made for the majority of the people who wanted to get back to normal life. So yet again we would be commemorating the violent loud mouths on both sides, who for the most part had no idea how to run a country.
 

runwiththewind

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What was normal life anyway only Ireland been run into the ground. Without independence, there wouldn't be any Irish left in the country. Since the famine, over six million emigrated.

Visualize Ireland oday under British rule. Look to NI as a reference point.

Right up to the WOI, the constitutional route was taken and it's leaders were jailed for the taking that route. . O'Connell, Parnell and SF elected representatives n 1918, all doing jail time following the constitutional route. The constitutional route failed for over a century.

Time now to look at Britain's role in all this.
 

Beachcomber

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The fiasco of the delayed Royal Irish Constabulary commemoration demonstrates the need for rethinking these commemorations, especially with the centenary of the Civil war coming up. So I suggest an each to their own approach. My suggestion an impartial team should be set up in the Department of Heritage to organize separate Michael Collins commemorations for Fine Gael and the Pro treaty gene pool and other local commemorations for that side. Liam Lynch, Tadaig Kennifick, Ballyseedy and other Anti treaty commemorations for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein, Aontú, Eirigi, Saoradh, The Workers Party and other anti 1921 treaty parties and RIC/British Army commemorations for Unionists. Each member of the commemoration team should swear off joining political parties just like the Gardaí and Military.

Any of these upcoming commemorations are going to be messy to plan/organize.

Looking at the reaction to the commemoration of the RIC, it's obvious that some current Irish people are not going to be happy unless groups that they see as having been "the enemy" back in the 1910s and 1920s are still defined as having been "the enemy" and thus should be excluded from the list of groups that should be "honoured" during these commemorations.

Those "current Irish people" call themselves Irish Republicans, and to them the following are, and always have been components of "the enemy":
*the British
*the unionists
*the RIC (including the the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries"
*the pro-Treaty faction of the 2nd Dail
*the Provisional Government
*the Free State Government
*the National Army

Given the fuss over commemorating the RIC (which those current Irish people - and others - dismiss as a puppet British police force) what is the fuss going to be like when it comes to events that involved only Irish people? I'm thinking of events like the Civil War. Can there be agreement over the commemoration of the Civil War, or will various factions want certain other factions to not be honoured?
 

Beachcomber

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How about one to look into the British role in all of this both politically and militarily and the absolute failure of British parliamentary democracy 100 years ago and its continued failure in NI today.

And another look into the legality of the foundation of both states and the continued illegality against the Irish community there.

And another into the running of the FS/Rep over the last 100 years and the illegality of its actions against many its own citizens and the absolute failure to compensate these citizens.

Way beyond the abilities of Irish politicians and historians I should think.

The issue is commemorations.

What you want are investigations, not commemorations.

What do you think would happen if there were investigations of all of those things? Do you think that the Irish Republic (as declared in 1916 and proclaimed by the 1st Dail) would be re-established?
 

Ireniall

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The fiasco of the delayed Royal Irish Constabulary commemoration demonstrates the need for rethinking these commemorations, especially with the centenary of the Civil war coming up. So I suggest an each to their own approach. My suggestion an impartial team should be set up in the Department of Heritage to organize separate Michael Collins commemorations for Fine Gael and the Pro treaty gene pool and other local commemorations for that side. Liam Lynch, Tadaig Kennifick, Ballyseedy and other Anti treaty commemorations for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein, Aontú, Eirigi, Saoradh, The Workers Party and other anti 1921 treaty parties and RIC/British Army commemorations for Unionists. Each member of the commemoration team should swear off joining political parties just like the Gardaí and Military.
What you are proposing is that we should remain divided -presumably because you feel that we are incapable of overcoming our differences? Can't say I blame you.
 

runwiththewind

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The issue is commemorations.

What you want are investigations, not commemorations.

What do you think would happen if there were investigations of all of those things? Do you think that the Irish Republic (as declared in 1916 and proclaimed by the 1st Dail) would be re-established?
It's not your business.
 

Beachcomber

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What you are proposing is that we should remain divided -presumably because you feel that we are incapable of overcoming our differences? Can't say I blame you.


The Irish Republicans who have commemorated certain people and events for decades are hardly likely to change now and participate in "shared" commemorations.

I suppose that the issue for the Irish state is which people and events should be honoured, and which shouldn't.

It's an area that is full of booby traps and landmines.

Take the Civil War as one example. Should both sides from Civil War times be honoured when commemorating the Civil War? Or just some people? - maybe all those on the pro-Treaty side, plus those on the anti-Treaty side who eventually came to accept the Irish state.

It's just as complicated when it comes to individuals. Take Collins or Dev as examples.

Collins started out as good guy for most, yet some think that he became a bad guy when he voted for the Treaty and helped lead the pro-Treaty side. Dev started out as good guy for most, yet opinion is divided about his later actions. He became a bad guy for many when he voted against the Treaty, yet many saw him as a good guy for doing so. Some opinions switched again when he went constitutional.
 

derryman

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How about the state commemorates those who served the state, forgets those people and events who did not , and otherwise let the dead bury the dead.
If a foreign power wishes to commemorate those Irish who served that's states interests in Ireland let them do so, but not in Ireland.
 

McTell

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What was normal life anyway only Ireland been run into the ground. Without independence, there wouldn't be any Irish left in the country. Since the famine, over six million emigrated.

Visualize Ireland oday under British rule. Look to NI as a reference point.

Right up to the WOI, the constitutional route was taken and it's leaders were jailed for the taking that route. . O'Connell, Parnell and SF elected representatives n 1918, all doing jail time following the constitutional route. The constitutional route failed for over a century.

Time now to look at Britain's role in all this.

It was more about timing. The constitutional route had succeeded in late 1914, and the main problem was being subbed from london for the next 6 years... what would we do in year 7? Bonfires were lit on every hilltop. WW1 would be over by christmas!

I don't see the next generation accepting home rule as enough, and we would have been independent by 1950. That was envisaged as a likely outcome in 1914.

You can run 10 other scenarios leading to some form of independence that would not involve violence. The embarrassment for me in commemorating the violence is that we didn't win a "war of independence" for a 32 county republic.

And for guys like my uncle who emigrated to england decades ago, as millions did after independence, his pride in being irish mingling with a sense of how dumb it was to kill people so you can live a poorer life.
 

Ireniall

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The Irish Republicans who have commemorated certain people and events for decades are hardly likely to change now and participate in "shared" commemorations.

I suppose that the issue for the Irish state is which people and events should be honoured, and which shouldn't.

It's an area that is full of booby traps and landmines.

Take the Civil War as one example. Should both sides from Civil War times be honoured when commemorating the Civil War? Or just some people? - maybe all those on the pro-Treaty side, plus those on the anti-Treaty side who eventually came to accept the Irish state.

It's just as complicated when it comes to individuals. Take Collins or Dev as examples.

Collins started out as good guy for most, yet some think that he became a bad guy when he voted for the Treaty and helped lead the pro-Treaty side. Dev started out as good guy for most, yet opinion is divided about his later actions. He became a bad guy for many when he voted against the Treaty, yet many saw him as a good guy for doing so. Some opinions switched again when he went constitutional.
In Europe the old Great War belligerents have joint ceremonies commemorating the war dead from all sides. No one cares who they served. Commemorations are about today and tomorrow, not yesterday despite appearances. The scale of the two world wars was such that profound lessons were learned by all sides-though most especially in Germany. People forgot about the lesser concerns and devoted their energies to ensuring that such a war never happened again. This has not happened with WW2 yet but there is the huge problem of what you do with the Nazis. Surely no one wants to commemorate them. German leaders do , however, attend D-Day ceremonies while accepting that their own forces are not included-reasoning that the Allied success ultimately liberated Germany also.

In Ireland this has not happened. All sides have been left largely intact , nursing their own grievance and prejudice. Ours is the slow train to reconciliation. So to me it is not even a question as to whether both sides in the civil war should be included. Most certainly they should and I don't care who gets included or what they did. That war is long finished and I doubt that anyone wants to resurrect it in any way by stirring resentments through excluding either faction. Neither side were Nazis though one side was wrong but have gone on to make an admirable contribution to the new state up to perhaps the late seventies

But the main problem we have in Ireland is that the War of Independence is not really over in some ways. NI is still a contested area. Frankly British Unionists have more wrong attached to their cause than Nationalists but neither side can be said to be wrong in a fundamental way much less be compared to Nazis. So the basis should be there for joint commemorations in time. However that the problem is still with us makes it even more important that we make as much haste as possible. Failing to commemorate the RIC- a body which is gone for a century-is the kind of thing that people who have learned no lessons do.
 

McTell

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In Europe the old Great War belligerents have joint ceremonies commemorating the war dead from all sides. No one cares who they served. Commemorations are about today and tomorrow, not yesterday despite appearances. The scale of the two world wars was such that profound lessons were learned by
//

However that the problem is still with us makes it even more important that we make as much haste as possible. Failing to commemorate the RIC- a body which is gone for a century-is the kind of thing that people who have learned no lessons do.

But also how many of us turn out for these commemorations, even if the oul granda was in one uniform or another? I would say it's not a big deal for most people.

We were born in a republic, but more important was, and is, the local community. That was always here, and always will be.
 

recedite

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But also how many of us turn out for these commemorations, even if the oul granda was in one uniform or another?
What is a commemoration anyway? If you turn out, are you supporting whatever it was? These are genuine questions, because too often politicians and petty officials grant themselves funding for some "commemoration" and then the event gathers pace like a snowball, but without anyone ever standing back and asking "Why?".
In reality the most appropriate thing is to gather information and artefacts into a permanent museum type exhibit, presented in a neutral but informative manner, and let people visit it as they see fit.
Similar examples; the Ulster Museum in Lisburn has a whole section on "the troubles".
In Bavaria, you can take a trip to the top of the Eagles Nest (Berchesgaden) in Hitlers very plush original lift and have a beer there. But they also recently built a modern interpretive centre/ information building on the mountain, containing a sombre documentation of the nazi era.

There is already a lot of interesting stuff in Collins Barracks museum in Dublin. There is a long history of brave Irishmen fighting in many different uniforms, of many different countries. And we are not unique in that. There has been a long history of shifting borders and empires, throughout Europe.
I'd say any commemoration money would be better spent in there, on more interactive stuff and even better displays etc..
 

Ireniall

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But also how many of us turn out for these commemorations, even if the oul granda was in one uniform or another? I would say it's not a big deal for most people.

We were born in a republic, but more important was, and is, the local community. That was always here, and always will be.
Indeed very true. This is really a drip feed which has a small effect and along with other similar measures makes a difference in time. It only helps a little in itself if it is accepted and enacted but when it is forcefully rejected by the scale of the negative reaction it turns into a much more potent message- that Nationalists are not ready to include the Unionist tradition in a new Ireland. Donaldson has said as much and the DUP, who've been a shambolic mess over the last few years, are no doubt delighted with this huge banana skin which SF-(in a rare period of credit having been on the right side of Brexit and the Irish language)- in particular, have willfully trodden on with predictable up-ending results.

I focus on SF with this because , let's face it, the backwoods types in FF don't really matter and I thought that Michael Martin was noticeably equivocal about rejecting the commemoration which suggested to me that if the government hadn't mishandled the event they might have gotten FF on-side before the eejits opened their gobs and put Martin into a corner.

The thing is though that SF are doing a much more important job whether they like it or not. In fact they would obviously prefer to be some sort of fringe protest party going by their behaviour but they do a lot of damage by engaging in that petty point scoring. Given that they are hard line Republicans it is perhaps understandable that they would view the RIC negatively but the consequences of indulging this totally partisan urge is negative for NI ,negative for Irish unity, negative for Nationalists and negative for SF which had been making such progress in being part of the new main stream consensus in the north in which the DUP were increasingly excluded.

If they absolutely could not bring themselves to accept the commemoration then it might have been more acceptable if they had quietly issued a bland statement of rejection with lots of caveats about perhaps future developments allowing this kind of thing etc. Instead we had the sanctimonious Mary Lou leading the charge all over the media and it's hard to shake the feeling that it's all very light-weight stuff , with a light-weight leader from a party which has a heavy-weight job to do. Maybe the silver lining in all of this will be that with the pressure now having been released off of the DUP with this huge clanger-they might not be as defensive in their dealings with SF as part of the new northern coalition government.
 


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