Monday 27 March 2017

McAleese banishes ghost of Christmas present

The President is right, there's far more to the Irish than our balance of payments deficit, says Eilis O'Hanlon, who adds we must stop wallowing in misery

It wasn't the bit about how "we are a people rich in imagination, creativity, innovation and creativity skills". Self-congratulatory versions of that mantra have been dripping from the President's lips ever since she took office, and they're no less nauseous now than they were at the start. Why do we have this unending need to be told how wonderful we are?

Nor was it the equally ubiquitous tosh about how "our history has given us resilience in the face of adversity". Actually we're not that resilient. Just because our ancestors suffered famine and occupation doesn't mean we're immune from getting pampered and complacent. If we were that stoical, we wouldn't whine so much when things go wrong.

The part of Mary McAleese's traditional Christmas message which truly stood out was this: "Ireland and her people are worth much, much more than to be defined by the economic crisis." OK, so referring to the country as a woman is a bit icky. Islands don't have gender. That's like men who refer to their cars as "she". It's anthropomorphism gone mad.

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