Jeffrey Donaldson and an imaginative leap

‘Imaginative’ is not the first word I’d reach for when describing the DUP. But this morning, Jeffrey Donaldson is quoted in an Irish Times article which shows that he can think outside the box. And then some.

The article has to do with a memorial wall at Glasnevin Cemetery. The wall carries the names of all those who died on both sides of the 1916 Rising.  Paint and a sledgehammer have been taken to it by persons unknown, and at present it’s hidden from view under tarpaulin. A review is being conducted by the Dublin Cemeteries Trust regarding the wall, and a decision will be announced “in the next few months”.

Into this contentious matter has stepped the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson. He says the wall “certainly” should be completed, and he considers it “sensitive, inclusive and visionary.”

 There’s no doubt that everyone who died in violent conflict, from whatever side, left those who grieved their irreplaceable loss. And it’s good to see Jeffrey commending a memorial south of the border.

But here’s a suggestion, Jeffrey. As a good Christian, you’ll know that example is the strongest and most commendable teacher. In Lisburn town centre, which is at the heart of your constituency, Jeffrey, there is a large sculpture in honour of the UDR. Wouldn’t it be a sensitive, inclusive and visionary action if you were to add to that sculpture the names of all those killed by the UDR during the Troubles period? The sculpture is striking and unavoidable; it would show the kind of open, fair-minded awareness of the sanctity of human life if you were to construct a wall behind the sculpture, listing the names of those killed by the UDR – and maybe other military forces in Ireland as well?

Go on, Jeffrey. You know it’s the right thing. Just do it.

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