I managed to write this as a 17 year old. Sorry to say that not much has changed with Ireland since 2000…
When you think of Romantic Ireland, what comes into you mind? Leprechauns, fairy forts and mystical castles in the fog of folklore? Sorry Bord Failte to burst your bubble. But the nearest that you’ll get to that is Westlife doing a jig on the BBC, Boyzone singing she moved through the fair (and so badly, you would feel like legging it out of the building!) and Riverdance talking over the Radio City Music Hall by storm. Romantic Ireland has become the stuff of legends and probably was the whole time!
Ireland was never a romantic place. We have Hollywood and Maureen O’Hara to thank for that. Does anybody even want to remember a little film called “Darby O ‘Gill and the Little People”? Here we had the works, little Leprechauns doing their jig around the place with the banshee wailing on lead vocals and the headless horseman on the drum kit! Unless you were so mental scarred by that film that all trace of it had been erased from your memory, you will have noticed that the Ireland of mists and mystery was back, and with a vengeance. Moreover, according to Frank mc Court, Ireland at the time was about to be twinned with Venice for all the rain it got, thanks to Angela’s Ashes.
We must remember that while Mr. O’Gill was doing his merry little jig, unmarried mothers in Ireland were sent to live out the rest of their days in the Magdalene laundries. Their babies snatched from them the moment that they were born, they didn’t even get to hold them before they were snatched from them for life. The adoption papers forged by the so-called “saintly” nuns of the day so they would find it even harder to find their child in future years. Rampant child abuse in the church run orphanages. Women legally raped by their husbands in the home while a crooked arm smuggling government looked on. Hush – Hush murders, which to this day haven’t been solved. A Taoiseach who blatantly stated in the constitution of a “civilised” country that a woman’s place was in the home and that there they should stay. Students were beaten senseless by over bearing teachers who enforced the rule of Home Economics on female students and kept the high maths and technical subjects the preserve of the males of this country.
Politicians in this country were and still are as crooked as they come, Brown paper envelopes going here, there and everywhere. We are only finding the true extent of the corruption, greed and lies that kept the pockets of most of our civil servants well lined. Thanks to Mr. Charlie Bird, major banking institutions in this country have been brought to book over their conduct in the D.I.R.T. scandal and the Cayman Islands Affair.
One can only laugh at the blatant smugness of one Charles J. Haughey who was distinctly heard telling the people of Ireland to tighten their belts in the face of high taxation. While he himself was stashing away all of his money in the Cayman Islands, he had the cheek to go of and ask other people for extra money. But, to rub the salt in the wounds and insult to injury, he didn’t bother paying any tax on it at all. Just for the sheer laugh of it all. For a man who got away, and by the skin of his teeth may I add, from an IRA guns smuggling wrap with buddy Blaney. He’s gotten away with a lot. By the way were not talking about some big Hollywood story just something that happened when Ireland was supposed all innocent and romantic!
The year 2000. “Opency” and “transparency” the buzzwords of the new generation. Especially when bureaucratic supergrass, Mr. Frank Dunlop, former government lobbyist, revealed in shocking evidence that he was recently threatened by a number of Messirs. Big Anonymous Politicians & Co. That was just some of the mind- blowing evidence to come out of the flood Tribunal in recent weeks. It’s only now that we, the public in general, are learning of the deeds of the bloodless, moneygrubbing freaks that were in charge for so long.
Now the image of Ireland that’s being flogged wordwide is the image of the happy fun loving criminal. According to the latest films The Irish party image has been so well advertised that soon the world people will thing that the Irish people are mad party animals. We’ve already had Puff Daddy and Chris Evans fighting it out over who gets the Penthouse Suite in the Clarence Hotel during the St. Patrick’s Weekend
The picture isn’t so bright if you happened to hear about the poor misfortunate who, because of them being dependent on a defunct blood board were left unshielded from aids, hepatitis C and HIV. Fathers, mothers sisters and brothers dead, all because of blatant bureaucracy and naivety. The Lindsey tribunal has been the stage for tales of the most heart rendering.
As far as I can see, and my vision is being blurred by history book bias, and the biggest lie of the millennium, that Celtic Tiger, Ireland is just the same as it always was. The west, an economic desert always in want of money and proper attention. The politicians, as happy as Larry Goodman in a tribunal sitting, always up to trickery and defrauding the public consciousness. We the people, sitting there, wondering were did it all go so wrong.