Saturday 10 December 2016

Only action will revive our spirit

Published 19/02/2012 | 05:00

It is to Taoiseach Enda Kenny's credit that he appears, unlike his predecessor, to have recognised that one of the key features in building a new Republic is to lead a revival of the better elements of what might loosely be called 'the spirit of the nation'. This is no easy task when it comes to that many-splendoured thing known as the Irish psyche.

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It is said that Ireland is an instinctively Mediterranean state that got lost in the colder Presbyterian reaches of the North Atlantic. Though sometimes confusing, even to us, our competing impulses contain their own benefits for, when properly directed, the vices and virtues of our natural fecklessness are tempered by sterner qualities. Like all peasant-based societies we are tough and resilient -- but that touch of feckless Celtic mysticism we possess also means we are creative innovators.

More importantly still, unlike the nihilistic Greeks, who the current Siptu/Sinn Fein alliance thinks we should emulate, this is a society that adheres to the principle of the rule of law and from there, the concept that we are our brothers' and our sisters' keepers.

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