Some comments on Ben Lowry’s fine, but might I suggest, a little overspread, article arising (pun unintended) from his attendance as a reporter at the 1916 rising commemoration held in Dublin (April 2).
Please note I did not write Easter Rising or centenary; the connection between the armed rising and the celebration of the Latin, or Western, Christian movable feast of Easter, is fallacious; the uprising had nothing to do with Easter and the proper chronological centenary of the rising should have been celebrated on April 24.
It is about time that its connection to the Christian Easter is severed, particularly as regards Catholics. Catholic participants in the rising and who were members of the IRB, which secret organisation, I understand, was mainly instrumental for the rising, were Ipso facto excommunicated.
The Papal excommunication ordinances in force in 1916, regarding membership of the IRB, were confirmed in the Codex Iuris Canonici issued by Pope Benedict XV in 1917. Absolution from which was reserved to the Holy See.
I think that Ben’s little aside at Eamon de Valera and his stance during the Second World War is too simple and one-sided.
There were many neutrals beside Ireland during that war, for instance the US, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden.
The North Americans remained neutral until attacked by Imperial Japan at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. Following this attack Nazi Germany declared war on the USA.
Furthermore, as a dedicated and greatly respected member of the League of Nations, Eamon de Valera tried his utmost to head off war, including the Second World War.
Regarding Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935, de Valera’s pleas for action against Mussolini were ignored by the major powers, including Great Britain.
The latter, I understand, helped to circumvent the League of Nations sanctions against Italy.
Micheal O’Cathail, Fermanagh