20 January 2009

Wrong Day - Wrong Message

Today the Irish parliament met for two separate sessions in two different buildings. In the early afternoon both deputies and senators assembled in their respective chambers in Leinster House to debate the bill to nationalise the failed Anglo Irish Bank, a 38-page document which the government wants to rush through both houses of the Oireachtas in a single day.

But this morning the Dáil assembled also in the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dawson Street (the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin) for a special commemorative session to mark the very first meeting of An Dáil Éireann in January 1919 and the official declaration of the Irish Republic as an independent state (thus ratifying the earlier declaration by the Irish Republican Army on Easter Monday - April 24th - 1916).

This should have been a great event, and in any other country I know it would have been. But not so in Ireland. Here we just ignore important things and let our incompetent political leaders muddle on as they always do.

And a right muddle it was today. First of all the ceremony took place on the wrong day. The first session of Dáil Éireann was on January 21st, 1919 and not on the 20th. So the real anniversary is tomorrow and I will write about it then.

But our government of overpaid fools (GOOF) forgot to reserve the Round Room of the Mansion House - where the First Dáil assembled for its first number of sessions - in advance.
As the room is available to the public and is often booked for civic receptions, conferences, meetings and presentations, this is a very surprising oversight and something that could only happen in Ireland.
When the government eventually contacted the Lord Mayor's office to arrange the special Dáil session, it was told that the room was not available on the 21st. It had long ago been booked by Sinn Féin, Ireland's one and only true Republican party, for a proper commemoration of the First Dáil - on the correct date.

Back in 1919 it was a one-party parliament, and that one party was Sinn Féin. So it is actually quite appropriate to let the party that had the vision as well as the guts to proclaim Ireland an independent state and form the first Irish parliament of modern times hold the commemoration of the event in the correct place and on the right day.

On the other hand, this shows once again how much out of touch with real life our government is. How on Earth can they forget to organise and book the venue for the 90th anniversary of the Dáil? There is no other country on this planet where this sort of thing could or would happen.

But it was not only the wrong day on which the government commemorated the first session of the Dáil, the meeting this morning also sent out the wrong message to the country. Limiting the commemoration of such an important event, which had wide-ranging consequences for the whole nation, to a short session of parliament on a wet Tuesday morning and then carry on as if nothing had happened shows an immense disrespect for the institution (the Dáil) itself and for those who created it under great personal danger at the time.
It also shows disrespect for the whole nation and the people of Ireland, who should celebrate this historic event on a special public holiday. Any other country would have done it that way.

On top of the disrespect there was a second element that was uncalled for, and it too sent out another wrong message from the commemorative session.
In his address to the Dáil the Taoiseach put special emphasis on Europe and our membership of the EU. This was in fact Brian Cowen's unofficial launch of the campaign for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

These remarks were not called for and completely unsuitable for the event. 1919 was not about Europe, and the EU did not exist for another 38 years.
1919 was about Ireland, Irish independence and the ever more serious struggle of Irish patriots to break free from 750 years of British occupation, dominance and oppression. One would have expected more about that from An Taoiseach, especially since he is a man who claims to be a proud Irish nationalist.

But that is sadly all rhetoric. Today it became once more clear that he and the vast majority of Fianna Fáil are nothing but a bunch of greedy, power-hungry and self-serving parasites who have grown fat and lazy on the body of the Irish Republic. It is high time for a change, time to get rid of the parasites and restore the state our brave ancestors created 90 years ago to health, solidity and proper prosperity.

The Emerald Islander

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