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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding

 

Easter

Happy Easter!

Rather than eating lots of chocolate like everyone else here, we've indulged in a few lessons in Irish politics and history. (Finally, the 5th form history module on Ireland has become relevant. So what you learn in school actually can be useful!)

In the paper yesterday we discovered that there would be a commemorative service for the Easter Rising at the GPO - only a short walk from where we're living. I was keen to go along and see how the Irish treat commemorations, and it seemed wasteful to not go when it was so close, so David accompanied me.

Apart from most of the shops closing in deference to it being Easter Sunday, what was most noticeable was the large number of the Garda out and about in their fluorescent yellow vests. Some streets were blocked off, and to get in to them you had to be let in by police officers, who searched your bags. To get into the actual viewing area in front of the GPO - which, I may add, was well removed from the actual building itself), you went through a search and a pat-down. For some reason the (male) officer wasn't too keen to pat me down, so I was directed to a ladies' line.

The commemoration was fairly brief: people milled about, then there was a combined parade of representatives from all branches of the military, then we waited for dignitaries to arrive: the Minister of Defence, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Prime Minister, then the President. There was a lament from a bagpiper, someone read the document that attempted to declare Ireland's independence back in 1916, and the President laid a wreath.

The ceremony wasn't nearly as interesting as some of the people around us though: young families of the men on parade, a few Irish tourists, and some older men who wept a discreet tear or two as the piper played.

Afterwards we decided to take a walk around on the south side of the Liffey, in the touristy Temple Bar area. I can't see what all the fuss is about: it's central, and the streets are charmingly (but impractically) cobbled, but it didn't blow me away. However, I can see the attractions well enough: bars and cosy restaurants everywhere.

On the way home, we came across a Sinn Fein parade, which led to a rally. David was less than impressed by the paramilitary-style uniforms worn by some of the participants, but I was simply impressed that people would feel so strongly about a political party to actually wear a uniform!

One of the people in the parade was Gerry Adams. After having learned about him in 5th form history, it was quite exciting to see - and snap a (bad) photo of - him in person.

I know, I am such a dork. But he's my first famous Irish person at less than 10 metres, so it's still exciting.

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Blogger Morgan Says:

I don't think it's dorky at all, he's genuinely internationally famous.

The uniforms would make me feel a bit uneasy as well - uniforms tend to denote serious extremism. It makes me think of fascist blackshirts, or Destiny Church bigots with fists raised.

 

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