No paddies


As human beings we are prisoners to the past and aspirants to the future, yet though we live in the present we rarely spend much time there. The misdeeds of recent history haunt our waking hours. We instigate enquiries and commission reports in an effort to gain ‘closure’. I wonder aloud if this is the serpent eating its own tail.

Ireland is in the news, President Michael D Higgins was this week on a State visit to Britain at the invite of the Queen. This is the first head of the Irish State to be honoured with the full pomp and ceremony of such an occasion. This follows on the heels of the State visit the Queen made to Ireland in 2011 at the invitation of the then President, Mary McAleese.

The Great Hall at Winsor Castle was the venue for the evenings Banquet and speechifying. Ah, but there was an elephant in the room. To the anger and consternation of some in N.Ireland the Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness was also an honoured guest. The alleged Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Republican Army, who were responsible for terrorist atrocities, was in good company. The ex Commander-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment, who also ran a campaign of terror in N.Ireland, was present. I am sure Prince Charles and Martin rubbed along rightly, whilst sipping on Talisker and Black Bush.

Long may the talking last and maybe, ex Minister of State for N.Ireland, Peter Hain’s proposal that we draw a line under the past will take root.

Is it naive to hope for a peaceful world? Is it naïve for humanity to expect such an outcome when we are still producing and refining weapons that will dispatch efficiently those whom we label our enemies?

“ To take away a life must always be the ultimate unpardonable act of censorship.” John McGahern

“ I believe that peace will be humanity’s greatest achievement.” Prem Rawat


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