December 6, 2022

Celebrating Ireland's centenary

Spreading the good word about our progress

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Irish State. Yet there is no public holiday, no street parties, no State occasion. And that’s a disservice to all those who have played their part in making Ireland one of the world’s leading nations today.

I took the occasion to write about the positive progress we have made as a nation and to encourage readers to take a moment to celebrate our success. My piece in The Irish Independent was entitled ‘Ireland has taken its place among the leading nations of the world – so let’s not be shy about celebrating that fact’. If you are a digital subscriber to the newspaper then you can read it online here.

In an article for The Journal, entitled ‘Let's hear it for Ireland's success on our 100th birthday – we’ve come a long way’, I argued that “For most of our first century, we were focused on establishing our independence from the UK and obsessed with comparing ourselves to our former lords and masters. Such a comparison today is simply unwarranted: Ireland now surpasses the UK on what matters”. I was glad to see that the piece was read by more than 22,000 people and started an engaging debate. Have a look here.

I was also glad to see that these articles prompted a discussion on Newstalk’s Lunchtime Live about how far Ireland had come – take a listen to 'We're patriotic, but not enough' here.

In addition, I was pleased to be invited onto Matt Cooper’s Last Word programme to discuss what we have done right as a country and why we should be celebrating. Listen back here.

Mark Henry and Matt Cooper discuss Ireland's centenary

Lastly, but not at all least, it was wonderful to share the story of Ireland's success with the Northern Ireland listeners of William Crawley’s Talkback show on BBC Radio Ulster. Take a listen here (the piece starts at 39:20).

Thank you to everyone who gave me the opportunity to discuss Ireland's positive progress. You will find plenty of reasons for celebration in my book In Fact. We have every reason to be proud of how far we have come.

In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100 - Book Side

Available to buy at all good book stores