In keeping with my own invented tradition of being out of the country when national celebrations are taking place (See Love Ulster, St. Patrick’s Day) I will be in Spain when the main Easter Rising commemoration takes place. It is the 90th anniversary apparently, and I can’t help but think that the decimo-centric nature of the celebration is missing a trick. Why not have a key celebration every 16 years? That’d bamboozle the curs. I have no recollection of the last key celebration, but I do remember a rather stout individual in a 75th Anniversary celebration T-shirt a couple of years after the event threatening to slap the lugs off me if I didn’t stand up for the national anthem being played at the end of the disco.
I am inclined to think that the memorialisation of the Easter Rising is basically an opportunity for sanctimony from unreconstructed nationalists and their satanic twins. I happen to think that it is a good thing that most of Ireland gained independence from Britain, and as far as 1916 goes I don’t care for parlour game counterfactuals – not because I think that the Rising was justified (I don’t -and perhaps can’t- know), but because these things are intended to alter the way one views the present, rather than develop a deeper understanding of the past.