Re: Re: Dublin, Royalty, identity etc.
We ought to be able to maintain a reasonable level of patriotism without mangling our history.
Dublin in particular, and pretty much every other urban centre on the island, has a built heritage which was substantially the product of English immigrants. A lot of these people may have been second and third generation or more, but there were a lot too that were first generation, or literally off the boat.
The standard way of dealing with the likes of Georgian Dublin, for example, is the line that, while the Georgian city was built for an alien protestant ascendancy, the actual buildings were built by Irishmen, so it’s our heritage too. That’s fine if it gave Neil Blaney pause for thought before signing off on the demolition of 16 houses on Fitzwilliam St. in 1962 [apparently Lemass rather than Blaney was the real culprit according to a recent PhD lassie], but it isn’t actually true and it glosses over the fact that we have this deep English heritage underlying who we are.
As far as I can tell, the real story of 17th and 18th century Dublin, is the remarkable extent to which the English immigrants who built this city began to see themselves in patriotic Irish terms and evolved a colonial/national identity that was distinct and sometimes opposed to the old country while adhering rigidly to English heritage in other regards. The parallels with the American colonies are obvious and a significant number of the names involved are actually the same, with the Quaker community in particular arriving here in the late 17th century, contributing hugely to the growth and development of the city before filtering out again to do the same in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Royalty might be a preposterously antiquated concept, but we could use the occasion of the forthcoming visit of the Queen of England to begin to explore our deep connections with England and just maybe begin to allow ourselves to celebrate that side of the family.