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Remember the Rising for what it was - a bloody war

With Easter Week rapidly approaching and the 1916 centenary celebrations switching into full gear, I am growing uneasy of those who wish to turn a week of remembrance into a holiday which would glorify the event.

The goal of the Easter Rising was to kick-start a nationwide revolution that would overthrow British authority in Ireland and create an independent Irish Republic.

From this standpoint, the Rising was a total failure and succeeded in nothing except the destruction of large parts of an already-impoverished city, causing more than 3,000 casualties, most of whom were civilians.

Even the 'symbolic' victory of the Rising amounts to nothing more than transforming the nationalist movement, which up until that point was largely pacifist and democratic, into a violent, militant and bloody rebellion that would lead to more than 6,000 deaths and thousands more wounded over the next six years.

The Rising achieved none of its goals, caused three destructive internal conflicts which mostly involved Irishmen killing other Irishmen, and led to more than a century of bitterness and resentment across the island.

War is bloody. War is dirty. Nobody celebrates Iraq or Afghanistan. So why should we celebrate the Easter Rising?

Let us remember it, of course, but remember it as what it was - a bloody, destructive, horrible war, something which should never be glorified, or celebrated, and something we must never allow ourselves to repeat.

BRIAN O SUILLEABHAIN

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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