Neil Ferguson: The centenary of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916 is fast approaching;

what impact did this event have over the last 100 years of Irish history?

Billy Hutchinson: Well, I suppose the biggest impact in Irish history over the last 100 years was the Civil War rather than the Easter Rising. I mean, I see the Rising as a more of a middle class thing, it didn’t impact on Belfast in a sense, it only happened in Dublin and it was very middle class and you can tell that from the key figures who were involved in it. So from my point of view you know, the impact that it did have was that it was something that people look back at and talk about how republicanism should move forward. But in Ireland, I think it’s the Civil War which had more impact, but I think up here republicans hang on to that event and it’s a very romantic notion of 1916 and it was very middle class, and it is very interesting that republicans describe themselves as socialists.