A great little country cursed by 100 years of a self-serving and inept political class
Last week, I took part in a radio discussion about what it means to be Irish and what, if anything, we should be proud of. The conversation continued afterward and it was interesting to note that while the various contributors had wildly differing ideas about what we should be proud of, or what being Irish 'means', there was one unifying thread - a sense of weary contempt for the political class.
This is a week which sees the nation run the risk of contracting collective neck strain as we obsessively stare at our navels trying to figure out what it means to be Irish a century after the Rising. We all have understandably conflicting ideas about our national identity - if, indeed, there really is such a thing. But it is instructive to note, as the recent election of so many Independents proved in stark detail, that we don't trust our politicians, we don't like them and, most importantly, we don't respect them.
Presumably, that's one of the reasons why the leadership of the 1916 uprising are still venerated.