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In June 2012, our Queen shook hands with Martin McGuinness (before he left us to honour his appointment with Beelzebub) during an official visit to Northern Ireland. In 2016, this was followed by a private meeting between the two. There were many voices of opposition raised, but none so deafening as to persuade the Queen to change her courses of action on either occasion. There was no clamour from any political party to have the handshake or the private meeting cancelled. We must remember all this is in spite of McGuinness’ erstwhile role as a head honcho in an illegal terrorist organisation that not only murdered thousands of British citizens, but who also murdered a member of the Queen’s own family!

Compare and contrast the maturity of British Establishment opinion with the caterwauling of self-pitying piss-artistry we’ve seen from the Irish political class (and many Irish voters) over their government’s plan to commemorate the roles of the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police. These two forces, both overwhelmingly Catholic in composition, lost hundreds of personnel at the hands of the first Doctor Who-esque incarnation of the IRA. This would have been a simple State commemoration, an understanding that other organisations outside the narrow confines of militant republicanism could be recognised for their role in Irish history.

But no! Out came the usual suspects and the usual tranche of Irish voters, spitting venom at the very thought. Listening to the likes of Mark Daly (he of the Anschluss-by-persuasion wing of Irish nationalism) and Mary Lou McDonald, you’d think the Irish Government were about to launch a ceremony to pay tribute to the Gestapo! Oh I forgot, the Nazis get a better understanding in Dublin than the members of the RIC and DMP. Lest we forget Dublin remains the ONLY city in Europe to still have a statue of a Nazi collaborator on display. If you read through the comments at the bottom of the linked Irish Times article, you’ll appreciate why countries need laws in place to stop brothers and sisters having kids with one another.

For years, Unionists have had to listen to meaningless drivel about how they and everything they hold dear would be honoured, cherished, worshipped and carried through the streets at shoulder-height should they ever consent to some unicorn all-Ireland state. Yet each time a Dublin administration suggests pointing a spotlight on any cultural trapping or official institution held dear by Unionism, out come the cavemen with their threats or enactments of violence, and the event in question gets cancelled. It happened to the Orangemen in Dublin in 2005 and it’s happened again now. And Dublin’s movers and shakers like to claim the Republic is on a journey to commemorative maturity?! Geez, when it comes to Unionism, it hasn’t even left the nipple yet!!