Ireland Continues to Remember 1916 and Continues to Betray It (With Some Canadian Help)
by Aidan O'Brien - CounterPunch
June 9, 2016
Dublin - Do you remember Ireland’s 1916 commemorations in late March? Do you remember the spectacle? Do you remember all those fighting words and strong images of national independence and national justice? The attention of the world was on Dublin for a few days and Dublin played the part of the rebel city.
Well it was all a bit too real and too popular. And for that reason it had to be officially repressed as soon as possible.
The official repression occurred on May 26 when the Irish state honoured the British soldiers who butchered Dublin in 1916.
That’s right! It’s worth reiterating: a few weeks after glorifying the 1916 birth of modern Ireland, the Irish state on May 26 turned around and honoured the men who stuck a bayonet through the heart of modern Ireland. Think about that.
The Irish state needless to say was doing this on the sly. In a military graveyard somewhere in Dublin the Irish state together with the British army prayed for the British war dead of Easter 1916. It was a semi-secret ceremony because the Irish people would’ve been insulted otherwise.
You must remember that the Irish state isn’t the Irish people. The Irish state being more in tune with the UK and the EU (and of course with the USA) than with the Irish people.
One brave Irish protester (Brian Murphy) however did sneak into this prayer for the Empire to register the disgust of the Irish (the living and the dead). But the words “insult” and “disgust” were barely out of his mouth when the Canadian ambassador (Kevin Vickers) attacked him.
That’s right! It’s worth repeating: Canada’s representative in Ireland attacked a peaceful Irish protester at a gathering in Dublin to honour the Empire that viciously attacked Ireland in 1916. Think about that.
The Irish media thought this Canadian defence of the British Queen was funny. But the Irish media are so detached from the Irish people they might as well be located in Canada. So the “Irish” declared the Canadian ambassador to be a hero. And the peaceful Irish protester? He was arrested. Then mocked.
In contrast the Canadian media and the Canadian government understood the craziness of the incident and felt a bit embarrassed.
But not the Irish. Nothing it seems embarrasses the Irish state and the Irish media. They continue to feel around in the dark – looking for a Dollar here and a Euro there and to hell with Ireland.
So on May 31 Ireland’s memories of 1916 moved north of the border. In Belfast the Irish state continued to honour the British military. This time the object of “Irish” respect was the British navy. The excuse was the number of Irishmen who died at sea while fighting for Britain in the First World War.
Standing alongside British royalty the Irish state tossed “red poppies” into the sea. Why? Why honour cannon fodder if you’re not condemning at the same time the practice of using people like cannon fodder? Why honour the desperate Irishmen who joined the British army for economic reasons if you’re not at the same time condemning the economic conditions that turned the men into mince meat?
Why recall Irish mercenaries without questioning the system? Because the contemporary Irish state is a mercenary itself. One that is trapped in similar economic conditions to those of 1916. Conditions which force one to betray oneself. And ethics in general.
On May 26, the same day that the Irish state was praying for the British who butchered Dublin, the Irish Treasury was informing the Irish people that Ireland’s national debt amounts to €207 billion.
In 2007 Ireland’s debt was €47 billion. So the treasonous Irish bank bailout of 2008, and the equally bad EU enforcement of this bailout in 2010, more than quadrupled “overnight” Ireland’s debt burden.
And today? The Irish Treasury broke down the figures. Each Irish worker it said “owed” €102,000. And servicing this debt cost each Irish worker in tax€3,400 a year. In 2007, in comparison, the servicing of Ireland’s national debt cost each Irish worker €900 a year.
According to Bloomberg the Irish Treasury got it sums right. Ireland’s national debt per capita ($48,730) is the highest in Europe. Indeed on a per capita basis the “unsustainable” Greek public debt ($31,850) is more attractive than Irish debt. In fact in the world, only Japan’s per capita public debt ($77,660) surpasses Ireland’s. Tiny agricultural Ireland however is not mighty Japan.
And who does Ireland owe? According to Britain’s Daily Mail: in 2010 Ireland owed the British banks £88 billion. This means, in short, that Ireland owes Britain £88 billion worth of “red poppies”. And to hell with 1916.
One might feel sorry for Ireland’s financial predicament. But it was self inflicted. Indeed the two political parties that emerged from Ireland’s revolutionary years (1916-1921) and have since ruled Ireland, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, both share the blame. The former pressed the “bailout button”. And the latter kept the finger on it.
And these two kamikaze decision makers are the ones who now decide to treat the butchers of Ireland and Ireland’s mercenaries with as much respect as Ireland’s Freedom Fighters. Ireland’s moral compass to put it mildly, is broken.
Ireland’s debt trap is an immoral trap in every way. Because it can only be serviced by nonstop payments to the Empire: the NATO establishment. And these payments are not just financial but political as well. Indeed the payments involve culture and history too. Ireland’s debt in a word is totalitarian. And it is swallowing the truth. The truth about the past as much as the truth about the present.
And Kamikaze “Ireland” continues to crash itself into 1916. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil managed to form an administration at the beginning of May. One acting as government and the other acting as opposition. Nonetheless the Irish people remain leaderless. And that probably is a good thing. Since the solution to the debt and to history remains in the streets.
At this point it’s worth repeating a few words from Ireland’s 1916 Proclamation of Independence:
“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefensible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people.”
Think about that. About the betrayal and the solution.
Aidan O’Brien is a hospital worker in Dublin, Ireland.
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