Ben Lowry: Dublin event to mark 1916 British dead is a step forward

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers wrestles with a protester (right) during the ceremony at Grangegorman. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers wrestles with a protester (right) during the ceremony at Grangegorman. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
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On Thursday I was in Dublin for the state-arranged service to commemorate British military dead of the 1916 Rising.

My flight from Gatwick was late so I was sorry to arrive at Grangegorman military cemetery just after a lone protestor rushed forward to shout pro dissident slogans.

In an almost comical twist, he was tackled by the hero of the Ottawa Parliament gunman incident, Kevin Vickers.

The service was another step in the improving relations between Britain and Ireland, and between north and south.

We still have, and might always have, radically different views on what happened in Dublin and century ago, and how legitimate it was.

The fact of Partition means different perspectives. If we had entirely the same perspective then the logic for the border would evaporate.

The Republic has embraced the 1916 rebellion with enthusiasm but the Irish state has at the same time been reaching out to unionists.

Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

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