David Quinn, in his Irish Independent column on Friday reflected on Irish independence in the context of what the people of Scotland are currently contemplating – separation from the United Kingdom. He speculated on Facebook that what he had to say might not be acceptable to some people.
The debate generated on Facebook was a reasonable one – as far as I could see. To it I contributed the following, agreeing with David’s point of view:
True, it is easier to be wise after an event – and more so 100 years after. But better late then never, and I’m afraid that for some of our countrymen it looks like never.
War brings out the worst in many people. If it is a foolish unnecessary war – which with hindsight surely we must say, and as David points out, a war for our independence truly was – then we must hold those who launch it in some was responsible for the crimes it engenders.
The questions of government, good government, ways in which we are governed, are practical questions. When they become ideological and doctrinaire the practicalities are lost sight of and we are in danger of losing our reason.
The people of Scotland are going to look reality in the eye and I’m sure they will make the right decision. It is a great pity we departed from that path in 1916. Nevertheless, Let’s get on with it now as best we can. We cannot change the past – but we can make a reasonable fist at determining the future.
We on these islands – with our brothers and sisters in the greater anglophone world – have a deep and shared heritage. We are in fact a people. We have shades of green, red and blue – but we are still a people. History has made us this and no amount of ideological posturing will change that.