Are centenary celebrations telling this generation ‘violence’ pays?

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I don’t feel any sense of antipathy towards the airing of so many details about the centenary of the signing of the Covenant on this day 100 years ago.

As someone always lusting for knowledge I cannot get enough quality information which accurately reflects what exactly happened historically.

Come 2016 needless to say our television screens will also be awash with the history of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Republicans will be taking to the streets to celebrate and who knows we may have a corresponding re-run of the current stand-off about where people march.

Exhibits from an exhibition exploring Home Rule and the Ulster Covenant at the Ulster Museum, Belfast

 

What is unsettling about this gush of information flowing from programmes about the Covenant has been the unvarnished unmasking of militant revolution not against an Irish administration which didn’t obtain then, but against the British Government of the day.

Despite being knowledgeable about that era the threat from Protestants to the State is still shocking.

The declaration by constitutionalist Edward Carson to Fred Crawford that he’d personally go to gaol in support of his decision to bring guns into Northern Ireland from Germany was remarkable.

The importation of arms has been a common feature in Irish history. We had the IRA’s Marita Ann, The Valhalla shipments etc.

All this talk of gun running and revolution will dominate our screens again in 2016.

This begs one question: with so much glorification and admiration for militant action fired up by our forefathers on both sides of the community what impact is this having on today’s dispossessed jobless generation?

Will they think that ‘violence’ pays?

Exhibits from a new exhibition exploring Home Rule and the Ulster Covenant at the Ulster Museum.

 

Exhibits from a new exhibition exploring Home Rule and the Ulster Covenant at the Ulster Museum.

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. I don’t think we’re telling a generation that violence pays but we’re certainly displaying it’s use as a tactical threat.

    The foundation of the Ulster Volunteers and the threat of “all
    reasonable means” was caveat with other conditions. Carson was a “smart
    cookie” with this because the onus to negotiate & compromise was
    put entirely on the shoulders of HMG (of the day).

    It was a conditional threat that temporarily worked.

    Post
    the Great War and the decimation of Unionist Youth, Irish Unionists
    where not in a position to again raise a Volunteer Army of such strength
    & honor (as the commitment proposed in the Covenant was) and so the
    two bastard states where created.

    To
    say Carson was dismayed was an under statement. Analysis of his entry
    statement to the Lords vilified the Government of Ireland Act and the
    partition of the Island (never mind the partition of the province of
    Ulster). He also warned Craig & Co not to make their state a cold
    house for the minority community (which of course they ignored).

    Shortly
    before his death Carson was lobbying that Unionism should negotiate
    with Dublin to create a new Ireland within the commonwealth retaining
    the Island as 1 identity.

    Remembering such an occasion of Irish Unionist solidarity is correct however I’d call on all modern day celebrants to read the words of the Covenant, recognizing the commitment and honor outlined, and do absolutely nothing (when holding commemorations) that would sully such ‘espirt de corps’

  2. don’t think we’re telling a generation that violence pays but we’re certainly displaying it’s use as a tactical threat.

    The foundation of the Ulster Volunteers and the threat of “all
    reasonable means” was caveat with other conditions. Carson was a “smart
    cookie” with this because the onus to negotiate & compromise was
    put entirely on the shoulders of HMG (of the day).

    It was a conditional threat that temporarily worked.

    Post
    the Great War and the decimation of Unionist Youth, Irish Unionists
    where not in a position to again raise a Volunteer Army of such strength
    & honor (as the commitment proposed in the Covenant was) and so the
    two bastard states where created.

    To
    say Carson was dismayed was an under statement. Analysis of his entry
    statement to the Lords vilified the Government of Ireland Act and the
    partition of the Island (never mind the partition of the province of
    Ulster). He also warned Craig & Co not to make their state a cold
    house for the minority community (which of course they ignored).

    Shortly
    before his death Carson was lobbying that Unionism should negotiate
    with Dublin to create a new Ireland within the commonwealth retaining
    the Island as 1 identity.

    Remembering such an occasion of Irish Unionist solidarity is correct
    however I’d call on all modern day celebrants to read the words of the
    Covenant, recognizing the commitment and honor outlined, and do
    absolutely nothing (when holding commemorations) that would sully such
    ‘espirt de corps’

  3. VictorCarmichael on

    Will some people think that violence pays? I don’t think you have to look back 100 years to see evidence of that – but I’m sure we could argue all day about that Eamonn

    I watched William Crawley’s documentary the other night. I must have missed the whole Covenant history lesson at school.

    What I found fascinating was how the guns shipped in by the UVF in 1912 came from Germany, happy to wind Britain up with a civil war in Ireland. Nationalists followed suit, landing a ship full of German guns at Howth in 1913. War broke out in 1914….and they all went and joined the British Army in France. Fighting the very people they received the guns from in the first place!
    I wonder what Carson would make of our recent troubles?

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