Tragically, we nearly made it through the decade of centenaries

Newton Emerson: Higgins turned highbrow rhetoric into critique and controversy

President Michael D Higgins at Collins Barracks in Dublin on the National Day of Commemoration ceremony in July to honour Irish people who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. Photograph: Tom Honan

President Michael D Higgins at Collins Barracks in Dublin on the National Day of Commemoration ceremony in July to honour Irish people who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. Photograph: Tom Honan

We got so close to the end of the decade of centenaries without an accident. It makes the avoidable controversy over today’s church service in Armagh all the more tragic.

The decade of centenaries programme had a revealing provenance, north and south, ironically now in danger of being misremembered.

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