In the lead up to the 90th Anniversary of the 1916 Rising Pat Kenny is joined by a panel of historians, journalists and politicians to ask how Ireland should remember 1916.
The debate is set against the background of street violence in Dublin which had occurred at a loyalist march the previous week. The government has announced plans for two and a half thousand members of the Defence Forces to take part in a military parade on Easter Sunday 2006. Pat Kenny asks the panel if this a good idea or are we asking for trouble?
In this excerpt from the show Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole reflects on whether Ireland should reinstate the Easter Military Parade to recognise and commemorate men like Pearse, Connolly and Plunkett as architects of Irish independence. O'Toole remebers the 50th commemorations of 1966 saying
It was the most exciting, it was the most visceral, it was the most emotive thing that had ever happened as far as I was concerned. We stopped playing cowboys and indians and we started playing Irish and Brits.
He feels the message of this type of military commemoration is that the Rising was about blood sacrifice and being prepared to die for your country, and this is to some extent glorified by a military parade. O'Toole says that the Easter Parades ended because it was recognised that this connection exists and that the country must now be mature enough to deal with this aspect of Irish history truthfully.
Lets discuss it in the actual complexity of the historical event in which 62 rebels were killed, in which about 131 members of the crown forces were killed, and 250 innocent civilians in this city, who were mostly the poorest of the poor, were killed.
Also on the panel are Minister for Defence, Willie O'Dea; Lord Laird of Artigarvan of the UUP; and author and historian Tim Pat Coogan.
This episode of 'The Late Late Show' presented by Pat Kenny was broadcast on 3 March 2006.