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Empire shaped Ireland’s past. A century after partition, it still shapes our present | Michael D Higgins

Only by remembering complex, uncomfortable aspects of Britain and Ireland’s shared history can we forge a better future

  • Michael D Higgins is president of Ireland

Ireland is currently engaged in a process of recalling the transformative events of a century ago that culminated in partition of the island. Six of the nine Ulster counties remained in the United Kingdom and the rest of the island opted for self-determination and what would become an independent republic.

As president of Ireland, I have been engaging with our citizens in an exercise of ethical remembering of this period. This is not only to allow us to understand more fully the complexities of those times. It is also to allow us to recognise the reverberations of that past for our societies today and for our relationships with each other and our neighbours.

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