David Ford the Justice Minister for Norneverland and also a member of the Alliance Party, says he cannot attend a ceremony that commemorates men who used violence in the 1916 Rising. He has been invited as a guest at the centenary event but has declined. Basically he snubbed the Irish Government and the Irish people as they remember the core event which was the spur and ignition for republic’s origin.The Alliance Party is in a bit of a quandary on this one because there is hardly a nation on the planet which did not come into being except through violence of some sort. If that is their proposed reason for staying away , it is a very odd one .The Irish Republic is recognised worldwide as a legitimate state whose ministers are welcomed everywhere.
If they have, in the past , been proposing a parity of esteem of some sort across the board in Norneverland and throughout Ireland ,their thinking has been exposed as ambivalent and somewhat hypocritical in some ways.By this act they are basically telling the people of the Republic of Ireland that their own state lacks legitimacy . Her Maj obviously doesn’t think so, of course .At the same time Alliance shares governmental offices with both Sinn Fein , the DUP , theTUVand the UUP who have all been associated with violence of some sort ,or proposal of violence, over this past hundred years. They can’t have it both ways. Sinn Fein have finally been accepted as another political party with a perfectly legitimate republican agenda as its raison d’etre. They propose to fight for that all- Ireland by purely political means, just as unionism across the board is perfectly free to argue for the re-unification of Ireland under the UK and to include the rest of Ireland in their calculations if that is what they ultimately wish. I don’t believe that could ever happen but they are perfectly free to do that.
It is obvious that the state of Norneverland was founded in violence itself, against the wishes of the majority of people living on the island of Ireland at the time.That goes without saying. That is a simple fact of historical record. The Alliance Party appears to have joined with the DUP on this one in that their leader Arlene Foster also refusedan invitation . There is obviously some residual fear in them even countenancing the true origin story of Norneverland . The state was brought into being by the threat of armed insurrection . How will its own origin story be celebrated and who will join in those celebrations? The cynical among us would think it’s all about electioneering and losing votes.