Friday 28 October 2016

We enjoy freedom in spite of 1916 rebels, not because of them

Published 01/06/2016 | 02:30

Padraig Pearse; ‘force not benign’
Padraig Pearse; ‘force not benign’

Easter 2016 has come and gone. And Ireland has trampled all over it. Snappily dressed in its bespoke best, Official Ireland hollowed out the essential Christian feast (with its cosmopolitan breadth of vision and sect-defying Gospel narrative) and given us, not a perfectly acceptable secular version, but a feast of 1916 Republican revisionism meant to bury what's left of our rich Christian heritage.

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The braggadocio was beyond belief. In case we didn't get the message (or bend the knee to this other 'nicely tailored' narrative), Official Ireland had its own beatification ceremonies.

We listened in North Korean-type admiration as speaker after speaker admonished us for not 'appreciating' the men of 1916. Their reverence for the cause. Their right to mandate themselves and their right to canonise themselves.

Without benefit of devil's advocate or any real historical exegesis, we were led by the nose to the shrine of Republican hagiography and told how to respond to such selfless sacrifice.

And would we, under other plausibly similar circumstances, have just as willingly celebrated and glorified the heroism of Mohamed Atta and his allies - the men who brought down the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, and who gave their own lives in the process? I fear we might have.

For the forces we saw unleashed in 1916 were not as benign as we might have been led to believe.

The men of 1916 were, I'm sorry to say, determined to impose their will on us. And most of the freedom we enjoy today is in spite of them, not because of them.

Official Ireland wants us to believe otherwise. But then they would, wouldn't they? The rest of us just don't need to be so gullible.

Nor can we afford to be!

Richard Dowling

Mountrath, Co Meath


EU overstepping the mark

The EU is broken! It must be. Ireland, a sovereign State, is planning legislation to put health warnings on all bottles of alcohol. This is part of a multi-faceted approach to the challenge of alcohol abuse. Meanwhile, nine 'fellow' members of the EU have formally complained. Not one or two, but nine!

This is much worse than the EU specification for the straight banana. This is trying to prevent our Government from doing its best for our health. Lord knows, we give out about our politicians all the time. However, here is the prospect of positive public health legislation being blocked and perhaps even a fine imposed. We have to remain part of the EU, it is the only dance in town. But when this sort of madness arises, it is easier to understand the pro-Brexit campaigners.

We, the citizens of Ireland regardless of political affiliation, need to stand full square behind our Government on this issue. It is the tip of a very dangerous iceberg.

Philip Byrne

Bray, Co Wicklow


FF can thank their media pals

Reading Shane Coleman's article (May 31) in relation to 'why Fianna Fáil has been in government for, on average, three out of every four years since it first came to office - and why the corresponding figure for Fine Gael is one in four' took me back to the media headlines before the 2002 general election.

Then the outgoing FF government were the darling of the media. Things were 'getting better and better' and there was 'no downside'. Government spending, rising by nearly 80pc, was 'most responsible'. The electorate was told before the 2002 election that there were 'new roads and hospitals where you won't die waiting for a bed' and that 'all the great battles on corruption and taxation had been won'.

The electorate was also told that, in contrast to the FF government, the then-FG-led opposition were 'stupid, bumbling and absolutely out of their depth' and 'as appetising as contracting the Ebola virus'. When an opposition spokesperson called for 'greater efficiency in the public service', he was scoffed at for mentioning such a thing 'five weeks before an election'.

In fact, the media forecast at the time of the 2002 election was that 'the only sector of the public service where there will be a reduction in the public service is in the opposition'.

The contrast with the coverage of the 2016 election, when the outgoing government was severely criticised and the opposition in all its forms was praised, could not be more stark.

Shane Coleman may be right when he says that FF are 'slicker' but it also helps when a party has media support.

A Leavy

Sutton, Dublin 13


Where the power really lies

In an interview with Finian McGrath over the last few days, he said he would work hard at persuading his ministerial colleagues to allocate more resources to the area of disability in Ireland.

Fair enough. If he gets lucky, great. If not, there is an alternative. Speak directly with Fianna Fáil and tell them what he wants and in turn persuade them to back him.

After all, they are the ones controlling this Government.

Damien Carroll

Kingswood, Dublin 24


A dawn chorus of delights

This time of the year has fantastic free blessings. My all-time favourite is our feathered friends' dawn chorus.

Nature's very own romantic recital. A free, open-air concert Beethoven himself would be proud of. What a delight to wake to the joyous music of passion, as they serenade their potential lovers in harmonious rhapsody. Nature at times can be cruel. However, this is the awesome power of Mother Nature as she allows her creatures to delight us all. "Sing your hearts out my sweet angels. Your passionate vocals inspire me to create my own dawn chorus to last me all through the day."

Anthony Woods

Ennis, Co Clare


Is Enda off his rocker?

It's a pity Enda Kenny doesn't display the same enthusiasm for running the country as that he exhibited in his performance beamed around the world on YouTube from the Bruce Springsteen concert at Croke Park. Does he expect our country to be taken seriously when himself and others like him persist in acting like clowns on the world stage?

David Bradley

Drogheda, Co Louth


Slow policing of protesters

I must applaud the actions of Canadian Ambassador Kevin Vickers on his prompt action at Grangegorman in dealing with a protester who tried to disrupt the ceremony. One has to wonder where were the guards.

It reminds me of the time protesters disrupted a ceremony at Glasnevin in July 2014 at the unveiling of the Cross of Sacrifice. They interrupted speakers including our President Higgins, and gardaí took no action. I must ask - what has happened the gardaí and why were they so late off the mark?

Brendan Cafferty

Ballina, Mayo

Irish Independent

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