There’s a mythic quality about the idea of ‘dying for Ireland’. So it’s not surprising that in the present difficult times that are in it the even the august Irish Times got itself a bit overheated this morning
IT MAY seem strange to some that The Irish Times would ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side. There is the shame of it all. Having obtained our political independence from Britain to be the masters of our own affairs, we have now surrendered our sovereignty to the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. Their representatives ride into Merrion Street today.
More balanced and thoughtful was this comment from Church of Ireland priest, Stephen Neill, writing in his column in the Church of Ireland Gazette and quoted by Anglican Communion News Service. He suggests that disestablishment was the best thing that happened in terms of the mission of the Church of Ireland – it now needs to be institutionally disestablished from itself.
There is no doubt that Ireland is in a bad state. Viewing and listening figures suggest that people are literally ‘turning off’ from the relentless outpouring of gloom and despondency. The problem is plain to see – 300000 unsold houses, the product of the house price bubble which was produced by irresponsible lending and irresponsible borrowing.
Those who have followed this blog may remember the building around Blogstead na Mara in Donegal – the very modest houses which suddenly appeared on a terrace carved out of the mountain opposite and were on sale and on sale and on sale at 600000 euro.
It’s a tragedy for the landscape .. and for the people .. particularly the generation which will now emigrate. You may remember my conversation which George who mended our washing machine. We talked of our children as people of our advanced age are wont to do. George’s five children had all come home, got jobs, built houses and put their children into the local schools – the first generation to do that since the Great Famine of 1845. And now it’s gone again – squandered in greed and corruption. Those who remain will rebuild the country using the best resource of all which is the highly-educated, flexible and articulate workforce which is the young people of Ireland.