Thoughts on the ‘Decade of Centenaries’

The Cedar Lounge Revolution

…from Brian Hanley, and many thanks to him for allowing us to post this, the text of a very thought-provoking paper he gave at Listowel/Newcastlewest on 28th August 2015.

‘When we were little children Johnny Redmond was a fool,
He bade us to be satisfied with something called Home Rule,
But we have learned a thing or two since we went to school
and we’ll crown de Valera King of Ireland’
(Popular rhyme, c. 1918)

It is fairly certain that when those charged with developing a programme of commemoration for the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ first met it was how to remember Easter 1916 which above all else caused the most angst. It is unlikely, to say the least, that anyone thought that commemorating the Dublin Lockout would lead to a surge in trade union membership or a wave of sympathetic strikes. But in the buildup to 2016 there is a…

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