Some thoughtful pieces have been added to the debate: Ronan Fanning writes on why it is unwise to commemorate the September 1914 Home Rule Bill. Stephen Collins says that Bruton’s proposal deserves serious consideration. Both are good reads.
Former taoiseach John Bruton has stirred up debate in Ireland by insisting that it’s better to note the centenary of Home Rule, this September, than the 1916 Easter Rising and subsequent War of Independence.
Such armed revolutions would have been “completely unnecessary,” Burton says, if Ireland had stuck to the parliamentary path. In public comments and a post on his website, Bruton argues:
Ireland could have achieved better results, for all the people of the island, if it had continued to follow the successful non violent parliamentary Home Rule path, and had not embarked on the path of physical violence, initiated by the IRB and the Irish Citizen Army in Easter Week of 1916.
Others disagree, among them (no surprise here) Gerry Adams. He was quoted in The Irish Times as saying:
For the record, the 1916 Rising was a seminal event in Irish history, a decisive blow in the struggle for Irish freedom. It is incredible that a former taoiseach – a position that would never have existed but for the Easter Rising and the [Black and] Tan War – would denigrate the sacrifice of the participants and their families in this way.”
And here’s a more detailed op-ed by Éamon Ó Cuív, a grandson of Irish-American republican leader Éamon de Valera.