Monday, April 17, 2006

don't bring the boys into town....

I took this picture on the LUAS on my way to Easter Sunday dinner at my sister's house yesterday. A poster of the 1916 proclamation advertising an exhibition in the national museum. I watched part of the 1916 commemoration ceremony on the TV in the kitchen while the dinner was cooking. And here’s the weird thing, I found something moving about the lines of tanks and soldiers walking up O Connell Street! And this is me who really believes that it would have been better if 1916 never happened, that we really gained nothing only turning inwards and away from the world for a long time. I was very against reviving this parade. But watching it yesterday, I have to admit that the feeling that came across was one of safety, stability and security. Much better than the recent "riots" anyway. The “rememberance” tone of the thing made what happened seem a very long time ago, much longer than 90 years. Giving it the harmless status of a founding myth? I wonder how it looked to one of the foreign nationals now settling down in Ireland, with no memory or experience of living through the grey years that the rising made? Just soldiers marching and bands playing I guess, something that most people would have seen in their homelands. A solemn commemoration of, something. On RTE radio over the weekend the broadcaster Henry Kelly told a story about a member of his family who used to talk about 1916. I don’t remember the details of it but a line stuck in my mind. A relative of his talking to another member of his family on Easter Monday 1916 and saying “don’t bring the boys into town, there’s something happening at the post office.” Good line, and still good advice.

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