Editorial: ‘Signs that hope and history can sometimes rhyme’

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Editorial: ‘Signs that hope and history can sometimes rhyme’


Mr Higgins delivered his politically sensitive Armistice Day speech just hours before he was formally installed as Uachtarán na hÉireann for another seven-year term. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Mr Higgins delivered his politically sensitive Armistice Day speech just hours before he was formally installed as Uachtarán na hÉireann for another seven-year term. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sometimes we do get things right in this country – even if it takes us many decades. Take President Michael D Higgins‘s speech yesterday to mark the centenary of that “war to end all wars”, which concluded on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, in the 11th month precisely one century ago.

The President’s words about our “collective amnesia” over the 1914-1918 conflict tapped into the already considerable, but belated, realisation across Ireland that we must honour the Irish who served and died in that most appalling conflict.

More than 200,000 people from across Ireland served and up to 49,000 of them died. That was, and remains, the biggest ever military engagement involving Irish people.

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