The Republic of Ireland is the only ‘liberal democracy’ to have as its foundation the brute force of an insurrection carried out by an elitist private army against the will of the people.
Ireland’s Ambassador to Great Britain Dan Mulhall will lay a wreath at London’s Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in November, it has been announced.
It will be the first time that an invitation has been issued and accepted and coincides with the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.
Image: Getty Images
The British-Irish Visa Scheme will operate through a reciprocal visa arrangement, whereby Ireland and the UK recognise short-stay visas issued by each other for travel to each jurisdiction. This will allow the holder of a visa issued by the country of first arrival to travel freely between Ireland and the UK.
Ireland could have taken same ‘peaceful path’ to independence with Home Rule
Stephen Collins – Irish Times, 18 Sep 2014
Ireland could have followed the same peaceful path towards independence that Scotland is considering today, according to former taoiseach John Bruton.
In a speech today on the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Home Rule Bill into law (September 18th, 1914), Mr Bruton pointed to the way the referendum on independence for Scotland had come about.
Image: Reform Group
Michael O’Regan – Irish Times, 18 Sep 2014
Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
President Michael D Higgins has described a national sorrow that soldiers who fought in the First World War and their families were shunned for decades in their home country.
Unveiling the first Cross of Sacrifice ever erected in the Republic of Ireland to servicemen and women killed in both world wars, Mr Higgins said the disrespect could not be undone although they are honoured now.
Also: 31 July 2014: Dedication of Cross of Sacrifice, Glasnevin Cemetery
On Thursday 31 July President Michael D. Higgins led a ceremony to dedicate the newly installed Cross of Sacrifice in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin 11. The erection of the cross is a cooperative venture between Glasnevin Trust and the Commonwealth Graves Commission (CWGC). The service was attended by a wide range of public, diplomatic, and military representatives, along with members of the public. The event was was addressed by President Higgins.
Image: President Michael D Higgins has unveiled the first Cross of Sacrifice erected in the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Irish Independent.
It is encouraging to see Tom Cooper (Letters, April 28) entering the debate on Ireland joining the Commonwealth. The Reform Group has promoted this debate on its website (reform.org).
It is regrettable that Mr Cooper suggests membership would lead to the ‘re-Britishing’ of this country. This is not the experience of the 52 members of the Commonwealth, 32 of which are sovereign republics.
The Commonwealth ceased to be Anglo-centric in 1949, when its name was changed from the British Commonwealth. We played a role in this process. The Commonwealth was formed by leaders of national liberation movements, such as Nehru (India), Nyerere (Tanzania), Kuanda (Zambia), and Mandela (South Africa), who brought his country back to the Commonwealth after independence.
The key figure in the Commonwealth is the Secretary-General, not Queen Elizabeth, who is the symbolic head. Queen Elizabeth has no authority to interfere in the affairs of Commonwealth countries.
The Secretary-General carries out the policies of heads of government in promoting democracy, human rights, equality, aid and the rule of law, all in line with the policies of our government.
Benefits include the “impact on trade, environment, and social and economic stability”, to cite the recent words of the Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma.
Reform would argue it is surprising we are not already a member, as the ties between the UK and Ireland have been profoundly strong over the span of history. Many thousands of Irish people move to the UK every year.
About 25% of the British population has some Irish heritage. We share identities, cultures, faiths, language, profession, political and legal structures and, of course, trade on a large scale. Some Commonwealth countries give, and have given, hope and new lives to our youth, providing a safety valve for our unemployed.
Let’s not forget Irish people played a major role in building the Commonwealth at all levels. Mr Cooper’s views about the Commonwealth sadly suggest an insecurity about our relationship with the UK, rather than confidently embracing our independence, while expressing our shared identity within the Commonwealth.
The Reform Group