Few Irish people know that there was once an equestrian statue of King Billy, William III, victor of the Battle of the Boyne, proudly displayed on Dublin’s Dame Street.
It didn’t go like Nelson’s Pillar but earlier, blown up in 1929.
Are there conceivable circumstances in which Dubliners could live with an effigy of the Prince of Orange again?
It is necessary to ask in order to encounter the same cheerful, of course not smug, complacency – on both sides of the border – in a generation that has grown up ignorant personally of the murderous effects of the bomb and bullet for nearly 30 years years years until the end of the last century.
Could Northern Ireland revert to violence? As unlikely as it may seem, it could well be – as it has not yet progressed from the pupa stage that accompanied the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
In order to successfully develop into a normal society, it still needs the help of others. This is why the British government’s ruthless and absentee upbringing of recent years has been so shocking and irresponsible.
That’s this IRA guy in the flesh, he might have thought, though Mr Adams denies being a member
The Northern Ireland Assembly unsuccessfully reconvened yesterday amid the ongoing protocol impasse.
The DUP would not allow the election of a speaker as this in turn could allow a successor to be elected as the DUP’s first minister.
Sinn Féin would have the right to fill this position for the first time.
Nonetheless, it has been three months since Northern Ireland went to the polls with a result that brought a rebuke to the DUP but has only resulted in that party persevering with its dogs-in-the-manger policy.
However, that dog is just a pup compared to the big dog in Downing Street, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been called into a campaign to keep him in office at the height of Partygate.
It may be that original First Secretary David Trimble’s unintended final gift to the peace process is that he forced Johnson to attend his funeral this week.
He may have seen Gerry Adams at the Harmony Hill service in Lisburn. That’s this IRA guy in the flesh, he might have thought, though Mr Adams denies being a member. But the point is, he didn’t walk away. The white-bearded old ideologue recalls the past soaked in blood and tears from all sides in a cruel conflict.
Good enough for Johnson, now a lame duck, to face the reality of Northern Ireland without knowing if any old combatants surrounded him in the dreary pews.
Mary Lou McDonald’s strategic absence from Trimble’s funeral effectively demonstrates that her focus is firmly on the future
It can only help to make the UK Government, and likely new Prime Minister Liz Truss, more aware of what is at stake in Northern Ireland.
Protocol is a practical problem and a contemporary problem for a community – not a practical stick to pick up and use as a tool to further attack the European Union.
At the same time, it’s not a baton to orchestrate barking Tory backbenchers with.
That symphony ended in cacophony for Johnson, but he could at least warn Truss, who looks like he’s brandishing that baton, that less discordant mood music might help in the future.
Mary Lou McDonald’s strategic absence from Trimble’s funeral effectively demonstrates that her focus is firmly on the future. She stayed away while Bertie Ahern broke a family vacation to attend and the Sinn Féin leader left representation duties to Adams and Michelle O’Neill. At least she’s in favor of moving on.
Would London come to its senses about protocol warmongering – which it might – in order to allow Northern Ireland the progress promised by the achievements of Trimble and others in 1998?
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/fractured-state-of-northern-ireland-laid-bare-in-week-of-trimble-tributes-and-more-inertia-41888700.html The broken state of Northern Ireland was laid bare in a week of Trimble tributes and further inertia