Home Rule hoo-ha provides handy distraction from home truths
Eamon O'Cuiv makes an unlikely Rose of Tralee contestant. When he holds forth about Ireland's role in the international arena, however, Fianna Fail's agriculture spokesman sounds like a dead ringer for a hardass Texan broad attempting to impress Daithi O'Se with her twin jewels: dewy-eyed idealism about global affairs and deft mastery of Oirish blarney.
"Ireland's role should be as a beacon of peace and reconciliation in the world," O'Cuiv trilled last week, in a textbook demonstration of pious Paddywackery. It is unclear whether he can also play the harp or warble a Disney ditty to a standard worthy of O'Se's approval.
But the real irony of O'Cuiv's ditzy remarks was the context in which he made them. Eamon de Valera's grandson is just one of several political grandees who have been launching and sustaining heavy fire in an increasingly belligerent skirmish about the whys and wherefores of the Home Rule Bill, an act of British parliament passed a century ago which offered the prospect of self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom.