Monday 18 December 2017

Ghosts of 1916 rattle their chains as ECB does the sums

Regarding sovereignty, Ireland has lived with various half loaves for many years, writes John-Paul McCarthy

EVEN though the full details of the EU's intervention in the Irish banking sector may not become clear for weeks, one things is clear. The ghosts of the Easter Rising are abroad in Ireland at the moment, and they are shaking their gory locks with some relish, encouraging the commentariat to bemoan Ireland's calamitous loss of sovereignty.

There can be no question about the humiliation inherent in a hypothetical ECB-IMF diktat on corporation tax or social partnership, but this should not blind commentators to the fact that Ireland surrendered vital components of its sovereignty in the Seventies when we first hitched our battered cart to Monet's fast-rising star.

Having already become something akin to Madison's "compound republic" in 1972 -- that is to say, a republic with dual citizenship -- we cannot really debate last week's news on an austerely principled level. This fact has been obscured as of late, partly as a result of preparations in some quarters for the centenary celebration of the Easter Rising in 2016, an event that does not encourage realism on the sovereignty question.

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