Michael D. Higgins has caused consternation amongst the John Brutons of this world by his non-attendance at a religious ceremony in Armagh that was to “mark the centenaries of the partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland.”
The service was to be attended by religious and political leaders in the North.
It is a rare thing for me to agree with Michael on anything, but I agree with his non-attendance: I don’t subscribe at all to this fad of the anti-national class that speaks to a supping cowardice in the soul and talks of “reconciliation” or “mutual respect,” which are bye-words for prostrating ourselves before the Planters and pretending that their transgressions and the invasions of their ancestors gives legitimacy to the Statelet squatting in the North-East.
Ireland does not consist of anything less than the whole island of Ireland, its islands and its seas. It is Ireland “from sod to sky.”
Would we expect the Koreans to mutually commemorate the bifurcation of their country? Would we expect Hungary to send its Head of State to Romania to celebrate Trianon?
One cannot even accuse (or excuse, as it may be) Bruton of reflexive anti-Shinner West Brittery, as Sinn Féin since it entered Stormont has upheld Partition in a more effective way than ever before. For all the talk of “unity being around the corner” (in the same way Gerry sold disarmament to republicans in the 1990s), the fact is that Stormont and the North are more entrenched in the Union with Britain than at any point in the last century. Sinn Féin’s encouragement of recruitment for the British policing service is head and shoulders more egregious than Bruton being an old fuddy duddy.
So Higgins is right to absent himself from an event commemorating the sundering of Ireland.
However I could not allow myself to end on such a note. Higgins’ visit to the grave of Gramsci and his absence from the grave of the O’Neills and the younger Ó Domhnaill in the same city is something for which he should apologise.
To honour a foreigner and ignore your own history at the same time is one of the diseases ailing Ireland and the Gael at the present, and not one of the most unimportant. To become a people adrift, to look abroad for respect, or history, or inspiration is to become what the Anglo-Saxon always wanted: for the Irishman to forget who he was.