On Sunday, before I went to my local Easter commemoration I was in a friend’s house watching the parade in Dublin and I am the first to admit that it was impressive.
I just can't shrug off the feeling though that this attempt by Fianna Fáil to "out-Republicanise" Sinn Féin will have the same success as the SDLP's recent attempt.
The parade and all the ceremony was not something that anyone could call "neutral", the script had obviously been well written by Fianna Fáil. I must admit that I was astounded by the comments of an Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, when he said the leaders of the Easter Rising were democrats.
I do believe that the leaders were striving for democracy but the Rising was anything but democratic.It was the start of a Rebellion and they are never democratic, they occur because of an absence of democracy. This is evidenced by the fact that the vast majority of Irish people had called for and agitated for Home Rule for years yet a small minority were allowed to dictate the outcome.
That is not democracy!
You see Bertie has to thread very carefully because when all is said and done he is a revisionist, he seeks to present the Volunteers who took part in the Rising as somehow different to the modern day IRA.
I wonder does he agree that Pearse was the "President of the Provisional government" and if he does with what degree of democracy or legitimacy was he such?
Bertie is on shaky ground because the Proclamation was endorsed by the first Dáil and if read properly it could quite clearly be argued that his government is illegitimate.
"Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people."
Quite clearly this has not happened
I was disgusted by the speech of Uachtaráin na hÉireann, Mary McAleese, her revisionist attitude was there for all to see. She spoke about "cherishing all of the children of the nation equally" and she also spoke at how we are "oblivious of the differences which have divided a minority from the majority in the past" but she left out the middle bit about those differences being "carefully fostered by an alien government"
Bertie may, in the process of trying to stop Sinn Féin have gifted us with the very help to advance in the 26 counties. One of our primary objectives is to Republicanise our people, to make more Republicans and this parade and the coverage of the anniversary will do that.
Why would people who have been awakened to the Republican vision of a United Ireland vote for Fianna Fáil? As Conor Murphy has said in the past their Republicanism stops at the border!