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David Ervine’s Funeral – Urban Parable 4

February 7, 2007

I thought I should close out the David Ervine stuff. There are still ripples extending from the day and people continue to remark on an extraordinary occasion. But it’s gone now and we have returned to the usual political shenanigans when representatives can sniff an election on the breeze. David will be missed.

I guess his death is the first death of a unique
political generation in Northern Ireland. He was a man with first-hand
experience of the conflict who had subsequently thrown himself fully
into the task of building peace.

In years to come, when the peace process is old news and we are all
too familiar with the workings of local government, and the rest of our
former combatants cum-politicians have renewed their image and
reputations as statespersons, I can foresee that there will be many
such funerals, at least in form.

What was astonishing in this case is that the negotiations are still
ongoing. The conflict, whilst in its end-game and having moved out of
its violent phase, is still a reality. That just makes this
gathering unprecedented, and I don’t think there is anyone else that
could have brought such a group together. There is no politician seeking election in March who, if he or she died suddenly could expect to bring together such a diverse body of people. Not now. But maybe some day.

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From → Urban Reflection

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