Easter Sunday 2011 has come and gone. We are fifty years closer to a united Ireland than we were fifty years ago. In fifty years from now we will be fifty years closer to a united Ireland than we are today. All truisms with absolutely no strategic use value whatsoever. Hardly worth the violent candle and the snuffed out lives.
If there is to be a united Ireland it will be through evolution not revolution. Republicanism has failed to make the qualitative leap that would allow for a fundamental realignment in relations between Ireland and the British state. Republicanism has failed to provide the answer to the partition question. Gutting as it is to say it, the Northern Ireland state has proved to be a viable political ensemble, republicanism a failed political entity.
Attempts to resurrect an unsuccessful armed struggle will merely compound the lack of success. While armed republicans understandably seek to use the past to legitimise their actions, there is a greater likelihood that their use of armed force in the present will delegitimise the past and hand an even greater victory to the British state than previously gained by it.
Let republicanism be democratic or not at all.