I asked my Father, James Falconer to write a blog on 1916 , from his own point of view as a true patriot. I asked only that he write from the heart and knew that it would be passionate and heartfelt. His love of Irish history and Ireland is clear to anyone that has met him and after some reflection this is what he wrote. The biggest Empire the world has ever known began to disintegrate on an Easter morning in Dublin in 1916. A couple of hundred Irishmen comprising idealists, Irish nationalists and some communists set out on a doomed mission to right the wrongs of centuries of norman, Tudor, Cromwellian and Tory oppression. This doomed mission was the result of the English establishments arrogant treatment the Irish over centuries. It could have been avoided but for arrogance. Instead of treating the Irish as “Untermenchsen”, had the English only used simple logic they would have had the greatest ally as a neighbour. the old adage comes to mind ” You can lead the Irish but you cannot drive them! Ireland is a celtic nation ( The only sovereign Celtic Nation), just as Israel is the only sovereign Jewish Nation! Although the Irish bloodline is intermingled with Viking, Norman, and Anglo Saxon blood, it is still prodominently a celtic race. They look British , they may speak English , they may even dress as the English do, BUT their mindset is fiercely independent . The Irish contribution to the British Empire is amazing. The Duke of Wellington was born in Co Meath, Montgomery of El Alamein was a Fermanagh man, the British army in the Crimean war was 55% Irish. Kitchener of Khartoum was a Kerry man, It goes on and on – suffice to observe that for every one Irishman who died fighting the British Empire 99 died fighting for it. Not to recognise the Irish as a neighbouring a potential ally and not an ungrateful subordinate tribes not only unfair but downright silly. The Welsh and the Scots although celtic headed still have their Independent spirit ( this is evidenced by the fact that recently Scotland couldn’t even vote for independence , whereas the USA and Ireland fought for it. Now a new era has dawned and the British and the Irish people are at peace with their nearest neighbours.. Its as it should be..