Sunday 4 December 2016

Eoghan Harris: The road to recovery starts at rock bottom

Published 21/11/2010 | 05:00

We are like alcoholics. We have reached rock bottom. But we can recover if we face reality. The first step is to stop snuffling about abstractions like "sovereignty" and look after the living people of Ireland. As Daniel O'Connell did.

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Last Sunday, I was part of Newstalk's Talking History panel, reviewing the second volume of Patrick Geoghegan's Liberator: Life and Death of Daniel O'Connell. As we looked back in awe over the Liberator's massive achievements I asked myself why?

Why do we prefer callous gunmen with cardboard characters to warm-hearted, complex characters like O'Connell? Why is he forgotten at home and revered abroad. When Charles De Gaulle stepped down as president of the French Republic, his first trip abroad was to O'Connell's ancestral home at Derrynane.

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