Thursday, July 12, 2007


Celebrating Supremacy

Four centuries ago, my ancestor Eoghan Rua Ua Niall (Owen Roe O'Neal) led the native Irish against the Scottish covenanters brought in by the English to settle lands taken from rebellious chieftains like Eoghan's father Art and grandfather Sean in Tir Eoghan (Land of Owen)--now County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Earlier today, descendants of the covenanters conducted their annual marches and bonfires in Northern Ireland in celebration of their English-supported heritage of dominion over the indigenous Irish.

Reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan marches in Mississippi, these fundamentalist religious occasions celebrating another form of supremacy have no purpose other than to bolster an identity built on violent deprivation of civil rights and human dignity. These arrogant displays no longer have a legitimate place in the American South; they should be discontinued in the Irish North as well.

Fortunately, the Irish have showed considerable restraint since the Good Friday Agreement in not allowing themselves to be provoked by the taunts of drum-beating parades by Scottish settlers through Irish neighborhoods in recent years. Still, if the ruling English truly wanted to maintain peace in Ulster, these provocative displays would be banned.


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