A big deal – the British Irish Council

Peace BridgeThe 20th British Irish Council met at Magee College, Derry-Londonderry this week.

I suppose most people would greet that news with a yawn.

Big deal.

But wait. I feel an odd stirring within me. It actually is a big deal and we ought to remind ourselves of that.

In my lifetime there was day after day, month after month, year after year of atrocities in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

They are now a thing of the past. The British Irish Council is one of the mechanisms which played a part in the Good Friday agreement to help end the troubles.

And the 20th one happens not only in the place where the troubles were first sparked but it now has a peace bridge (see photo above), where the council members posed together, and it’s now called Derry-Londonderry.

That’s a big deal. We should not forget that.

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4 thoughts on “A big deal – the British Irish Council

  1. All sorts of unexpected things happening. For example the Irish P.M. will participate in ceremonies marking the start of World War 1.

    The next Dail election will if on schedule take place in 2016 jut a few weeks before Easter. A delicate time.

    Looks to me that Enda Kennedy is trying to place Ireland in a European context.

  2. And the Republic has just passed legislation pardoning Irish citizens who joined UK forces in the Second World War. In 1945 Ireland passed laws barring such people from holding any public service jobs in Ireland and denying substantial pension rights to them. Enda Kennedy has now made a public apology for this on behalf of the Republic. Again I think this is pre-emptative housekeeping to get rid of awkward matters mixed in with the Irish Civil War, the anniversaries of which are also approaching…

    • Indeed. In Dublin I once met an Irishman who served in the Royal Navy in the war. I didn’t realise they were denied rights. He told me he had just come back from a cocktail party on board a Royal Navy ship which was on a courtesy visit to Dublin. This was in about 2000. He’d been invited with all his colleagues who also served in the RN. So the Royal Navy certainly didn’t forget their service! He talked about it all quite naturally….

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