Workers Party Councillor Ted Tynan has welcomed a decision by the Department of Defence not to allow the erection of a stained glass window memorial to the Royal Munster Fusiliers in the chapel of Collins Barracks in Cork.
Cllr. Tynan said that there was an increasing level of blurring the lines between genuine reconciliation of the different traditions on this island and the glorification of imperialism and war. He said that militarism was being tagged on to what should be simple remembrance of the dead.
“As we approach the centenary of the 1916 Rising there is an increasing sense that there is more interest in some quarters in remembering the Somme than recalling the events that led to the foundation of this state. While it is right that those who died in the First World War should be remembered, that commemoration should be done in the sense of lives wasted in a brutally unjust imperialist war rather than some glorious sacrifice for the freedom of small nations. It was nothing of the sort”, said Cllr. Tynan.
“The First World War was a monstrous imperialist adventure which snuffed out the lives of up to 30 million people, most of them in Europe. Its aim was domination of entire continents, not human liberation. It was a criminal slaughter of human beings and a massive testing ground for devastating new weapons of war such as the tank and the submarine. Regiments such as the Royal Munster Fusiliers and their ilk on the other side recruited thousands of young men as cannon fodder in a war that gave freedom to nobody except the capitalist industrialists who made millions on the sale of armaments. Over 3,000 of the Munsters – men from Cork, Clare, Kerry and Limerick - were killed and 10,000 were maimed. It is one thing to remember these men and the wasted lives. It is another thing entirely to commemorate the ruthless regiment, regime and system which sent them out there”.
Issued 12th July 2010