Friday 24 February 2017

Nation still a servant of colonial past

Since the Free State's birth 90 years ago, our progress to democracy has been limited, writes Ulick O'Connor

WHEN the novel Ulysses was published in 1922, it coincided with the birth of the new Irish State. In it James Joyce has his leading character Stephen Dedalus saying, "I am the servant of two masters, an English and an Italian".

Joyce was referring to English rule in Ireland and to Vatican control. With the English gone, can we ask ourselves nearly 90 years later how has the new Free State fared? It could be argued that our progress from colonial rule to a democracy has been limited.

The institutions upon which democracy is built -- a strong civil service and police force -- are under threat with elements of corruption apparent in both. For instance, a

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