The Troubles

July 14, 2009 at 8:45 am 2 comments

troubles

So, another 21 policemen have been injured trying to keep Nationalists/Republicans and Protestant/Orangemen apart in various cities during the Northern Ireland marching season – read about it here.

Some claim that these “parades” are representative of Irish culture. While it is true that some marches commemorate such things as men lost in the battle of the Somme in the Great War, most celebrate various victories/atrocities dating back to the 17th century such as the Battle of the Boyne and the Siege of Derry. Strange “culture” that.

So, while places like South Africa try and heal their wounds through bodies like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Northern Ireland continually rubs salt into very old wounds by marching to assert “control” over various parts of Northern Ireland or to remind “the other side” of past defeats.

Good idea! Perhaps we should declare our right to march through Berlin twice a year – the 8th of May and 11th November would be good for me. And we could perhaps stop off at Waterloo and/or Agincourt en route……..I’m sure our old enemies would welcome us with open arms.

Why do we allow such things to carry on in a supposedly modern and secular democracy?

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cerebr8  |  July 15, 2009 at 6:39 am

    It does amaze me that these things occur here (on Earth in general) in 2009. As far as I know, the God I believe in frowns upon killing and violence. It seems that no matter how many people work for peace, there is always a large enough contingent that thrives on hate, anger & chaos. Thanks for this insight…

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  • 2. SilverTiger  |  July 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Tigger and I went to Waterloo (in Belgium) on a courier run a few months ago. What we saw there – the Wellington Museum, the road signs pointing the way to sites relevant to the battle, the shops selling mementos, people happy to help us, etc – persuades me that the inhabitants of Waterloo would have no problem with a party of British celebrating Wellington’s famous victory. After all, Napoleon was a French dictator, not a Belgian.

    The Orangemen parades in NI are another matter. Here, one part of the community is rubbing the collective nose of the other part in past horrors that civilized folk should be working to put behind them.

    Of course, there are tensions in Belgium too, between the Walloons and the Flemish speakers. Sadly, human beings never have to look far to find reasons to quarrel with their neighbours.

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