Next month an elderly English lady who goes by the name of “Queen Elizabeth the second” will stand in a spot in Dublin that I know very well.
With a quiet moment of reflection she will pay her respects.
We do not know,at this point, whether or not she will lay a wreath in honour of the men and women who fell in the cause of Irish freedom.
Normal protocol is that someone in her position, a visiting head of state, should do just that.
She visits us as a neighbour and a friend not, unlike her grandfather George V, as our ruler.
Those days are gone.
It is a century since a British Monarch visited Dublin.
In 1911 George V was the emperor of the first truly global empire.
Britannia truly did rule the waves.
Now as they build an aircraft carrier and can’t afford the planes Britannia simply waives the rules.
The United Kingdom of 2011 is a mid-ranking European power with dwindling clout in the world.
This is what history feels like.
When she stands quietly in the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square she will be honouring the Boys of the Old Brigade. She will be standing in quiet respect to the daring of Mick Collins’ squad and the bravery and skill West Mayo Flying Column.
My grandfather was born in Westmeath under the aegis of the British Crown. His son, my father, was born in County Mayo the year after the British had been sent packing.
This Fenian notes the respect that is about to be paid by the British monarch to the men and women of the Irish Republican Army.
We still hold our Fenian dead.
Ninety five years ago today in Dublin the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic struck the first blow in a historical process that would lead to the ultimate dismemberment of the British Empire.
Within her realm the Queen’s police officers have stated that to maintain the Queen’s peace they will arrest anyone in soccer stadia in Scotland if they sing the ballad the “Boys of the Old Brigade” (BOTOB).
The legality of the BOTOB has yet to be tested in a Scottish court as far as I am aware.
Herself would be a fine character witness to call if anyone was brought before one of her judges on the basis that singing about an army that she is about to honour and respect is somehow breaching her peace.
That quiet moment under the sculpture of the Children of Lir in Dublin will be another hammer blow to the self-esteem of the Queen’s Trailer Trash.
They are not The People.
They are only special in the extent of their cultural poverty.
From Ahoghill to Kilwinning her loyal underclass need help to adjust as they stumble blinking into the light of plurality and modernity.
Next month in Dublin their Queen will show them the way.