I must admit, I haven’t been paying been paying much attention to Féile this year, but I have noticed that the big Internment Day march has been reinstated after being quietly dropped a few years back, and will take place tomorrow. No doubt this explains the bonfires – if you’ve passed through the city centre you’ve probably noticed the big fuck-off bonfire at the Markets, adorned with loyalist flags and Rangers tops. [Update 14.8.07: It has been brought to my attention that the bonfires were a bright idea of the Irps, which seems right. The Provos were opposed to them.]
But what has struck me is that the Provos have declared this to be “Truth Week”, which is kind of appropriate since we’ve been waxing Orwellian. Tomorrow’s march will be the March for Truth. Now let me say at the outset that I’m fully supportive of attempts by groups like Relatives for Justice to uncover the facts about the dirty war in the North. All the same, Truth Week?
God’s Little Helper devoted his Irish News column this week to the subject. Let’s hear what Gibney has to say:
This Sunday thousands of people from all over Ireland will march to Belfast’s City Hall in memory of the 10 hunger strikers behind a banner calling on the British government to tell the truth about its role in the conflict.
The march organisers – Sinn Féin and a number of relatives’ organisations – are focusing on the word truth because they believe the truth is the last big issue to be resolved in the conflict.
By and large the truth is known about the role played by the IRA and loyalist organisations because they claimed responsibility for their actions which caused the deaths of hundreds of people.
And, in this schema, the Brits are the only people yet to own up to anything. The Provos and the loyalists have already come clean and have no skeletons left in their closets (although note the weasel phrase “by and large”).
I assume Grizzly will be on the march. He’s still, by the way, refusing to admit that he was ever in the Army, while the Deputy First Minister, to his credit, will cheerfully give you his name, rank and serial number if asked.
Here’s a modest proposal. If we’re going to have Truth Week, why not throw it into relief by staging a Lie Week? Or could the punters not tell the difference from the usual peace process political culture?