Friday 27 April 2018

Degradation challenged by island patriotism

The appalling Michael Wallace may have provided us with yet another episode in what appears to be the ongoing degradation of Irish politics, but, amidst the orgy of easy cynicism this huckster provoked, last week, a different, far lower key event reminded us of the transformational potential of politics.

The status of Mike Nesbitt as the first Unionist leader to address the Oireachtas, and the subsequent revelation that the grand secretary of the Orange Lodge will speak in the Seanad in July, provides us with a rare example of the good being achieved by those patriots who eschew public notoriety in favour of quiet acts of good. It is worth recognising, particularly in this 'wounded' State that Martin McAleese's efforts to replace the 'seed beds' of 'sectarianism' with an island containing 'two traditions' but 'one community' provides us with a truer valuation of political worth than the devalued coinage Mr Wallace peddles.

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