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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Commemorate 1798

It's time the Irish nation commemorated the United Irishmen and the rising of 1798 properly.

Their vision of a free, equal society throughout all of Ireland offering liberty and prosperity for all Irish people, be they Protestant, Catholic or Dissenter (or, we could well add today, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, Atheist, of all faiths or none) is as essential and enlightened today as it was 211 years ago on this day when the United Irishmen first arose against colonial oppression.

We have two bank holidays back to back in Ireland - May Day, an increasingly tokenistic vapidity allegedly in the name of working people, and the June bank holiday, which has no point to it at all save a day off work.

Let us replace one of these with a national day of celebration of ALL Irish people on May 24th, the anniversary of the 1798 rebellion.

Let us abandon the Paddywhackery of the 17th of March to the diaspora and the Catholic church. It is their festival, not that of Ireland and its residents.

Let us claim our OWN day of celebration, and there is no better one to celebrate than May 24th, the day when brave men and women sought to claim freedom for all the people of Ireland.

Please sign the petition to call on the Government to initiate a national day of celebration on the anniversary of the 1798 rising to commemorate that vision of the United Irishmen, in the hope that one day we might create the nation that they dreamed of.

Sign your support for a national day to commemorate the vision of 1798!


Rua said...

Again, thank you for posting this. Colonialism continues so long as we refuse to acknowledge our history and the ideals on which this state should have been founded.

gabbagabbahey said...

I like this idea, and it probably is better than Paddy's Day, but in celebrating a failed rebellion how is this different from the 1916 commemorations? I've nothing against reclaiming history, but when that event is a violent insurrection I'm uneasy about celebrating in such a way (the Declaration of Independence in the US was a political statement which led to war, and the storming of the Bastille in France was somewhat civil/symbolic).

okay, so the republican ideals are important (as they are in 1916, but I suppose there's less party political attachment to 1798), but then why not April 18, 1949 (sixty years ago last month, not that I heard much about it!) when the Republic of Ireland Act came into force, and we officially became a Republic?

JC Skinner said...

Because it is neither the foundation of the partitionist Republic nor the violence of 1798 that I wish to see commemorated, but the enduring vision of the United Irishmen which was forward thinking in its day and remains vibrant and essential even now.
I'm not seeking to replace the Paddy's Day piss-up, or Easter Monday. I want to replace the meaningless June bank holiday with something meaningful - the inclusivist and progressive vision of the United Irishmen.

rdlp715 said...

Well I'd say a problem is that Mayday and 24th of May are so close. Pick a free-er date sure then no bother. But saying that, not many countries have days where countries celebrate themselves, we already have possibly the grandest in Paddys Day (which is a sham I'll admit, but its there now). Would it be excessive?

What do the United Irish Party have to say on the matter?

JC Skinner said...

We don't have Paddy's Day. It has nothing to do with the future of Ireland and everything to do with the past of the diaspora.
It's alcohol and paddywhackery. Let those who want that have that. It's not for me.
I don't see any problem in May 24th being close to May day. It's only a week closer than the existing bank holiday.
Does anyone feel that having Christmas and New Year within a week of each other is problematic?
I haven't consulted any of the political parties about this because I don't want it to be party political.
I want it to be for the people, not the politicians.