The acquittal this week of two barmen on a charge of man-slaughter provides a stark latter-day parable for a people dazed by the labyrinthine analysis of our financial meltdown.
In the case, the judge determined the supervening event that led to the misfort-unate death was the decision of the deceased to consume a large volume of alcohol. Does any of this register a 'closing time' bell for people convinced that we are the victims of an EU conspiracy?
There is a case to be made for suggesting alcohol producers, bars, hotels and off-licences do, in one sense, contribute to the misery of some. There is a more sober view, however, that personal responsibility is king.
The simple reality is we as a plebiscite are in denial about our collective responsibility for the state we are in.
I would venture to suggest that the costliest mistake ever to afflict this nation was the third Home Rule Act of 1914. Quite simply, we are not able to self-govern. Fianna Fail, the de-facto party of government for far too long, has always operated a reactionary and subversive attitude to this 'free' state.
Fianna Fail's 'moonshine politics' became the tipple of choice for many. We all know the ingredients for Fianna Fail hooch; pretend to act for the nation, but, in reality, undermine every law if it gets in the way of getting 'langered'. And by God did we get langered.
But I cannot blame the manufacturers of moonshine politics anymore; they were just out to make a few quid. Equally, I suggest that everyone examine their relationship with moon-shine politics and get right with Jesus, common sense, maturity, or a bit of perspective -- just take some personal responsibility.