In this extended version of his Irish Daily Star column, John Coulter queries why Sinn Fein wants to commemorate the Dublin Easter Rising in the North when, he maintains, it was the Mid Ulster Brigade of the Irish Volunteers which messed up the coup in the first place. Dr John Coulter is a former Blanket columnist. He is a Radical Right-wing Unionist and Evangelical Christian.
The Shinners will make right tits of themselves if they persist in holding parades in the North to commemorate the failed Easter Rising because it was Northern Irish Volunteers who messed up the coup in the first place!
The Rising centenary next year gives republicans the chance to soak themselves in their favourite hobby – rewriting history to give the spin rebels were always the good guys.
But if there’s one thing which history has proved is that Northern nationalists really know how to screw up a military rebellion.
Let’s not forget that in 1798 during the United Irishmen’s Uprising, it was the Catholic Defenders group, not the radical Presbyterians who messed up their battles against English troops.
If the 1916 Easter Rising had been started in the Northern counties rather than Dublin, it would have succeeded.
The big problem was that the elite unit of the Irish Volunteers, namely the Mid Ulster Brigade, refused to participate - leaving the Dublin lot to handle the coup by themselves.
It’s the same reason the 1956-62 IRA campaign failed. Republicans could not expand their terrorist activities beyond the border and the B Specials could keep them contained.
The Provos and INLA recognised this failure and when their terror campaigns kicked off in earnest in the Seventies, they murdered and maimed right throughout the North.
This forced the Brits to eventually agree the 1994 ceasefire terms in the same way as Dan Breen and Michael Collins spread their Tan War all over the island in 1920, forcing the Brits to agree the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921.
The other minor problem concerning the Easter Rising which the Shinners have to talk their way out of, is that the Irish Volunteers had no mandate from the people of Ireland for a rebellion in 1916.
Over 450 people were killed and 2,600 injured during the Rising before republican icon Patrick Pearse officially surrendered to the Brits.
No doubt Sinn Fein will be over the moon naming play parks and memorial gardens to the 70 plus Irish Volunteers who were killed in the Rising, including those executed at Kilmainham jail in Dublin.
But what about remembering all the Rising’s innocent civilian victims, including some 40 children who died? Or will Sinn Fein churn out the spin these kids were shot by the British for looting?
Surely the deaths of children during the Rising makes a mockery of the Proclamation which Pearse read aloud from the steps of the GPO on Easter Monday in his role as the Volunteers’ Director of Military Organisation.
It stated the supposed new Republic would “pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all of its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally …” So much for cherishing the kids slaughtered in the Rising!
Republicans learned nothing from this dark period and continued to butcher children on Bloody Friday, Claudy and Omagh.
The challenge to Sinn Fein will be to remember everyone who died in the Rising, and not just the 56 Volunteers killed in the fighting and the 15 later executed.
It makes you wonder why Pearse as one of the key leaders went ahead with the Rising knowing he didn’t have the support from the crucial Northern counties.
Surely it would have made much better sense for the Mid Ulster Irish Volunteers to have begun the coup in Tyrone in the heartland of Northern Unionist territory, suck the British troops into the region, and then spark the attacks in Dublin?
The bitter medicine was that Pearse was a forerunner of the Islamic jihadists. He knew as a military coup, the Rising was doomed, but he recognised the value of a blood sacrifice – including the children – to the republican cause.
The Rising legitimised violence and once this genie was out of the bottle, it could not be put back in.
Just look at the death toll which the Provos’ feared East Tyrone Brigade inflicted on the people of Mid Ulster during the Troubles.
The Rising would have had a different ending had Mid Ulster Irish Volunteers followed Pearse’s ideals in 1916.