Sunday 25 June 2017

It's time to do the right thing, or I'm pushing ahead with PEEP

Contrary to modern culture, I believe that if you take the pay, you're responsible for the job, says Cathal MacCarthy

As the whole world now knows, last week and in these very pages, I announced my intention to oversee a five-year temporary evacuation of the population of the State to be known as PEEP (Programme for the Emergency Evacuation of the People). I had not anticipated taking such a central role for myself. But when I look around at the alternatives and consider their likely contributions, I cannot pretend any more that I do not hear the plaintive tune played by the Minstrel Boy summoning me to my duty and the waiting white charger, frisking impatiently in the front rank.

The task before us needs a man who can take his nation's future in his own artist's hands as delicately as he would a butterfly. And yet one who has the strength to resist the Sirens' call to dictatorship. The requirement, therefore, is for a man who can exert his will commensurate with the effort that will be required. A man who knows that when one talks of Nietzsche one is not referring to some kind of Japanese cordless power drill.

The recent history of Ireland shows only two men with the necessary sublime combination of intelligence and will. Just this week, one of them had his grave desecrated by the kind of vindictive, self-publicising buffoon that makes the idea of spending the next five years living abroad amongst foreigners more appealing by the minute. Who is the other? He writes these lines.

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