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Happy St. Patrick's Day ladies and gents.

The story of the quest for a Free Ireland has been talked about over and over.  Some of our family members here in the states may have even given their lives for either side.  Over the past two weeks all that has been gained since the GFA was threatened. For those who don't know:

Two British soldiers died Saturday in a hail of bullets outside an army barracks, and a veteran policeman was shot to death Monday while responding to a call for help in a strongly republican neighborhood. Republican splinter groups have claimed responsibility for the shootings, the first violent deaths of British security personnel in Northern Ireland since the so-called Good Friday peace accord in 1998.

These helpless young men were killed as they ordered a pizza.  Several days later another policemen, a Prot from Northern Ireland, was killed investigating a call at an elementary school in Cty Antrim.  Several people have been arrested in the surrounding communities after the Real IRA and Continuity IRA claimed they had carried out the attacks.  However, this time was different.  Men who had killed in the past turned their backs.

There was the sight of top government ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, two men who would once have spat at each other -- or worse -- across the sectarian divide, standing side by side demanding that the gunmen be brought to justice. McGuinness, who supported the killing of British soldiers during his time as an Irish Republican Army commander, then shocked everyone by denouncing the attackers as "traitors," an epithet fraught with historical meaning here.

Each of these men are seen as crackpots across the sectarian divide. However, this last week they have done what many had hoped for.  Peace in our time.  It appears that a united Ireland will happen within a generation or two.  That was almost threatened this March.  So they may riot in Derry but they will not succeed.  Finally, proof that diplomacy can and does work in the most fragile of situations.  There may be violence, but those perpetrators no longer have the pockets of Americans.  They no longer have the hearts and minds of some in the North.  No, my grandparents would be proud.  We will see a United Ireland without the blood of our Protestant brothers and sisters spilled.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day in deed.

Now go have a Smithwicks.

or 6

Originally posted to nokona on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:08 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips (15+ / 0-)

    Since dailykos represents the Big Tent of America

    May the roof above you never fall in,
    And those gathered beneath it never fall out.

    Evolution is more grounded in my experience than angels-BHO

    by nokona on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:09:46 PM PDT

  •  I'm going to drink a Guiness (or 3 or 5 or ...) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrJeremy, elsibiades

    No more green beer for me.

  •  I hope you are right, but.. (0+ / 0-)

    how can you be so optimistic?  After so many years of hatred-do you really believe people can put aside all their differences?  I hope and pray they can-just like I wish we could-but I have grown skeptical as I get older.  The force of hatred is so strong-and possesses so many hearts-just try to rationalize with the right wing here-or Limbaugh or O'Reilly.  

    •  yes, I believe it can be done (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrJeremy, 50licks

      it is being done.

      It will take long years and as the events of the last weeks have shown, it isn't a straight path. But so far the 'loyalists' haven't struck back, and there seems to be good progress in catching the people behind the attacks.

      People are weary. One both sides of the border. Children were born into the uneasy peace of the Good Friday agreement are now looking up to their parents and asking if it's all going to start again.

      Usually on the 17th of March I get up, read the Proclamation to whoever is around, even if it's just the cat, attend Mass (no really) in memory of a handful of relatives who were born at this time (and my family has a really good average of births in mid-March), play Irish music all day. The past few years, I've done that on my blog for the friends and family, with clips of Yeats reading, a dozen songs by the Wolfe Tones and the Clancys, and a few words by me about being Irish-American with a personal love of the land and ties to loved ones who live there, but this year, I just don't have the heart.

      May peace flow like the rivers of Ireland, may peace shield and protect Ireland as did the cloak of Bridghe, may peace come to that good green land, where the spirits of my ancestors dwell.

    •  im just a silly college kid but (0+ / 0-)

      from what i understand is that the provos lost alot of support in the mid 80s to late 90s.  what began as a genuine rebellion became a place for the loons to go crazy.  the provos began targeting anyone and everyone. they regularly bombed both catholics and protestants alike no matter if they were military or police.  the bombings of omagh (not 10 minutes from my grandmothers house!) solidified them as the evil to both catholics and protestants.  this is why you have McGuinness and Robinson on almost cordial terms.  it hurts for some but for most it provides hope.  ahern may have failed in some aspects, however, he should be celebrated for this.  

      Evolution is more grounded in my experience than angels-BHO

      by nokona on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:36:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. People want peace. (0+ / 0-)

      And they have no tolerance for those who would try to destroy their lives.  I think this attempt at rabble-rousing will not only fail, but will serve to highlight just how much those people are no longer welcome in Northern Ireland.

  •  For one day a year (0+ / 0-)

    my home town likes to pretend it's not dead yet, and quintuples in size, for "The Parade".

    "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" ~J. Lydon

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:13:16 PM PDT

  •  Cheers for common sense, (0+ / 0-)

    and peace, and a model for the rest of the world.


    A close friend who was/is a recovering alcoholic once told me that the two days his friends would move heaven & earth to stay off the roads were New Year's Eve and St. Paddy's Day--because when it comes to drunk driving, those worked out to 48 hours of Amateur Night...


    If you have to drive, don't drink--& drive as if every driver in your immediate vicinity is drunk.

    May I bow to Necessity not/ To her hirelings (W. S. Merwin)

    by Uncle Cosmo on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:38:12 PM PDT

  •  From the ground in NI (0+ / 0-)
    You can pick up alot of what is actually being debated in Northern Ireland from the excellent local blog slugger O'Toole.

    Complacency is not in order though hope is very much alive.

    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

    by saugatojas on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 03:06:35 AM PDT

  •  From the ground in NI (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    You can pick up alot of what is actually being debated in Northern Ireland from the excellent local blog slugger O'Toole.

    Complacency is not in order though hope is very much alive.

    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

    by saugatojas on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 03:08:29 AM PDT

  •  Top o' the mornin. (0+ / 0-)

    Never did understand how such a beautiful island could play host to such madness.

    "Religion isn't the opiate of the masses, it's the placebo of the masses." - House

    by Troubadour on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 04:26:46 AM PDT

  •  Isn't This Whole Holiday Based on Hatred? (0+ / 0-)

    Or at least, intolerance? My understanding is that St. Patrick didn't just drive imaginary serpents from Ireland but that that is a metaphor for his leading a crusade to drive out non-believers in his Christian religion, aka, the Pagans. I've heard they were massacred

    Why is this celebrated? I'm neither Pagan nor Christian (not really sure what I am), but I truly do not understand this holiday being whitewashed into a benign celebration of Ireland's heritage and resulting in parades and drunken binges.

    I don't mean this to pick a fight w/ anyone Christian or Irish (I am Irish, actually!), I just don't get how this is a thing to celebrate.

    "I *am* big. It's the pictures that got small."~ Norma D.

    by vintage dem on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:01:13 AM PDT

  •  Meant to Finish That Part.... (0+ / 0-)

    About the massacre. I can't find evidence one way or the other (research shows a lot of heated discussion over whether thats true), but it is clear that Patrick felt it was his calling to convert or force out of Ireland those who weren't Christians.

    "I *am* big. It's the pictures that got small."~ Norma D.

    by vintage dem on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:02:50 AM PDT

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