Uncomfortable 'truths' and the centenary anniversary of the 1916 Rising in Ireland

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Ó hAdhmaill, Féilim
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How to deal with uncomfortable ‘truths’ from the past has long posed problems for historians and politicians alike and this is exemplified by attempts to ‘deal with’ the centenary anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland. How do we recognise the revolutionary ‘heroes’ of the past and their contribution to the building of the new ‘nation’ state to which we may pledge allegiance, without exposing the contradictions inherent in the way that ‘nation’ state has transformed, subverted and indeed corrupted many of the ideas for which they fought? More controversially, how do we honour the actions of revolutionaries in the past which led to death and destruction in pursuance of a grand ideal, while at the same time condemning others today who claim to have been likewise engaged, using similar methods, during the recent ‘Troubles’ (1969-98 and counting)? Attempts by the Irish state to deal with the centenary seem to illustrate the point.
Ireland , 1916 Rising , Commemoration , Memory , Revolution
Ó hAdhmaill, F. (2016) 'Uncomfortable 'truths' and the centenary anniversary of the 1916 Rising in Ireland', Socialist History, 49.
© 2016, Socialist History Society.