I was on a discussion on Academia.edu recently about Ireland with a reference to the War of Independence days, and an Irishman left this note in reference to someone saying that both sides were equally bad:
Yes, sides are fruitless. Unless taking the side of right over that of wrong.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified under threat of an out and out war from Britain, with the partition of Ireland, with the command of the Oath of Allegiance to the English Monarch , etc. Deviation from truth multiplies later a thousand fold. In neocolonial duplicity, the Treaty was neither and both at the same time and has since become even more dissimulated in an ever-thickening fog of commentary amidst the perceived failure to complete a successful national revolution.
Without an understanding of her history and her defeat, Ireland will not collide with what she has become. Since the Good Friday Agreement, more disenfranchised people, mostly young men, have died from suicide in the North than in ‘The Troubles’.
A birthright was stolen. Ireland is animated by foreign and hidden marionettists, the attachment of the strings according to their purpose. Ireland is a likeness, as in a memory, where and when something happened and did not un-happen. Perhaps there is still truth in the Irish proverb that after the foul act, the grandchild should never trust a reconciled adversary.
Other than the superb prose, there are some interesting notes here. I had no idea that the Easter Agreement that divided Ireland was signed under threat of British invasion! My God. Of course “Northern” Ireland is a fiction, a fantasy. Of course it’s a British colony. There is no “Northern Ireland” and “Ireland.” It’s all just Ireland. Come on.
And he is correct. Ireland’s birth scar is exactly this: the frustration over an aborted and uncompleted national revolution. Since the act was never consummated, the wound was never bandaged and hence will never heal. It will always feel like a frustrated project that demands completion. As he points out, “a birthright was stolen.”
And yes, Ireland was defeated. She got her independence but she was defeated nonetheless. A wound that the British have never bothered to try to heal.
The “grandchild” in the last sentence refers to Ireland today, the grandfather of the child being the Ireland of 1916. The “foul act” was the aborted national revolution. The “reconciled adversary” would be the UK.
I’ve always supported the IRA, but that’s a bit much for an Alt Left demand. Instead we should support the reuniting of Ireland and decolonization of one of the world’s last colonies, Northern Ireland.