Three Decades of Half-Centenaries

When I became an active blogger over ten years ago, the”big theme” was the Decade of Centenaries.

As regular readers will know, I prefer private remembering to public remembrance. We are entitled to remember our history as we wish. I really do not understand officialdom getting involved in our personal histories.

If you look around Norn Iron (England, Wales and Scotland also) you will see a lot of Cenotaphs. I have no idea how many there are. Quite possibly, there are only four in the disUnited Kingdom and the memorials in Portadown, Liverpool, Doncaster, Swansea etc are merely war memorials.

The point is that the great and the good and old soldiers, parade, fall silent, lay wreaths, say something about the “going down of the Sun” play the British anthem…….and forget about it all until next year.

The First World War was all about lions led by donkeys. Officialdom distracted the bereaved, wounded, crippled and the angry and hid behind memorials.

That is what Conflict Resolutionists tried to do in our Decade of Centenaries.

Distract us into re-evaluating the Ulster Unionist Covenant, First World War, Easter 1916 as a faux exercise in our “shared history” and “shared future” so that we do not think about the much more relevant events of 1969 et seq.

Like it or not, the shared history and shared future 1969-1998 is very very real.

Somehow, the Conflict Resolutionists deem it helpful to re-consider the events of a century ago. But it is unhelpful to think about events that occurred just fifty years ago. Sometimes when I visit Milltown cemetry (and the same would be true of Roselawn), I see elderly people tending graves of their children or husbands. I see children brought to graves of grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts that they never actually knew.

The pain never really goes away.

We are now in the first days of 2022. Fifty years ago …1972…………was the most deadly year of the Troubles with 480 people dying. There are big anniversaries coming up …Bloody Sunday, Bloody Friday. Claudy but I do not think we should concentrate on events. There are individual pains which are just as relevant as the “community” pains. There will even be a few anniversaries that are personal to me.

Never Forget!


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4 Responses to Three Decades of Half-Centenaries

  1. Luke says:

    How …..

  2. hoboroad says:

    This year is also the 50th anniversary of the Official IRA ceasefire. Not that they ever gave up terrorising their own Community or racketeering or even printing their own money. And let’s not forget their gallant allies abroad in the USSR or North Korea and Iraq. I’m sure all it’s members who now work at RTE or the Irish Independent will be celebrating this one important date in Irish history.

    • The 1972 Ceasefire…….I have to refresh my memory as the year goes on. But they never really stopped, Most of it was feuding with IRA or ex OIRA. Hard to keep up with it.
      I declare an interest. I had a gun shoved into my mouth by the Stickies and that was late 1974….I wonder how I will actually deal with that
      Their greatest achievement was maybe persuading the media (where they had influence) to tell us that they never existed.
      The Stickies were a figment of our imagination,,,as was the man who put a gun in my mouth.
      No I cant forgive them….I was scared. But I really cant forgive people who airbrush them out of the Troubles.
      And there are a few of them still exercising influence.

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