Rising heroes would have done more about rising floods

Our 1916 heroes fought and died to protect us from foreign influences… They must be spinning in their graves!

Well folks we are well and truly into the New Year and I sincerely wish for a happy and healthy 2016 for every single one of us. That said, if just one more person asks me the unimaginative question that is “So, what’s your New Year’s Resolution going to be?” my answer will have to be “to cull you from my Facebook friend list.”                  

  What the hell is this fascination with proclaiming to make a resolution that you know you are never, ever going to keep? And, speaking of proclamations, it brings me nicely onto our 2016 celebrations where we will proudly and passionately (well I will anyway) remember our heroes and heroines of the 1916 Rising where fearless, strong, dedicated and patriotic Irish men and Irish women willingly laid down their lives for this little country of ours.

  In particular I look at the images of those brave men, the signatories of Poblacht Na hÉireann, whose handsome faces decorate my dining room wall. Padraig H Pearse, executed May 3rd 1916, Eamonn Ceannt, executed May 8th 1916, Thomas J Clarke, executed May 3rd 1916, Joseph Plunkett, executed May 4th 1916, James Connolly, executed May 12th 1916, Thomas MacDonagh executed May 3rd 1916, and Sean Mac Diarmada, executed May 12th 1916 and wonder what was going through their minds when they woke up on 1st January 1916. 

  Did they, their families, loved ones and comrades realise that this was the year they would fight a fierce, single minded, self-sacrificing and brave battle for our independence only to culminate in their murders and indeed martyrdom? Did they realise, as they gathered in Liberty Hall, (on the night before), and whilst under severe threat as well as being in what I would imagine had to be unbearable pain due to their appalling injuries, they would swiftly and hastily compose those now well-known and much quoted words, ‘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 indefeasible. 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,’ that one hundred years later, and, despite the fact that election fever is set to grip our weather battered citizens, our leaders appear to be doing scant to protect its people from the devastation caused by the recent and ongoing floods?

  Then again folks, perhaps Enda and Co. are simply taking advice from that lovely lady in the know, the fragrant Ms. Teresa Mannion, and he wasn’t ignoring the good citizens of Ireland, rather he was just merely not making “unnecessary journeys.” Who knows, sure we have to give the man the benefit of the doubt. 

  However, this is the same man whom, during our last general election,  stood in front of the good folk of Roscommon and vowed to…now what was it he said, ah yes, ‘protect and defend,’ the emergency department of our county hospital. Tragically it proved to be an empty declaration because as we all know, that particular department closed its doors in July 2011 and yet the Taoiseach wonders why most of us can still manage to harbour a deep resentment towards his party to this very day.  

  Well, let me put it to you plainly sir, it has something to do with  broken promises; remembering this in the future may stand you in good stead as you play Mr. Bountiful and hand out free flags to our nation’s schools and expect our impressionable young citizens to revel in your patriotism.

  As I sit here writing on this bitterly cold, wet and windy morning, I have to wonder what our courageous innovative, trailblazing heroes of 1916 would think of today’s, ahem, Irish leaders. Would they, like Enda, Joanie, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Co. have rolled over like cowering, namby, pampy, submissive weaklings when the rest of Europe threatened to pull the pin and unleash the financial grenade that consequently plunged every Irish man, woman and child into a life of despair and poverty, barely existing on the breadline; with many, tragically and disgracefully enduring a miserable subsistence on the streets?

  The economic crisis has hit almost every household in every county, and Roscommon, with a steady loss of enterprise and employment and stories of emigration, possibly suffering more than most. I know only too well the negative impact the downturn has personally had both emotionally and financially on my household. So I have to ask, with that in mind, would James Connolly (a 48-year-old revolutionary hero when he died), a soldier who was actually incapable of standing due to the injuries he received while trying to defend this land of ours meaning he was executed sitting down, making him the last of our leaders to be sacrificed, have signed a proclamation that effectively handed over control of our sovereignty to foreign interests? No way! He’d have torched it and rightly so! 

  Unlike our leaders of 1916 who fought and died in a bid to protect us from foreign influences, whose ultimate aim and promise was to make sure the welfare of the Irish people were at all times respected and protected, men who were willing to lay down their lives so that we could enjoy economic freedom, our present day ‘heroes’ the same ones who puffed up their chests and preened their feathers like demented budgies, who got suited, booted, locked and loaded and sent the, ahem, party heavies over to Europe returned home with their tails between their legs having had their fence sitting arses whipped by Frau Angela (Merkel) and Tricky Nicky (Sarkozy).

  Yep, instead of arriving home triumphant, they  rendered defeat, having been unable to secure that promised pre-election renegotiated interest rate, effectively putting an end to their ‘burn the bondholders’ pledge. But hey, you have to give it to the lads folks, our white knights in shining Armani who sat astride their high horses fought long and hard to pit their wits against a grey haired, middle aged aul biddy and an, er, vertically challenged little French geezer.    

  Regardless of how you view the 1916 Rising, regardless of how you view the recession, regardless of how you view the 2016 celebrations and the upcoming General Election, and we all have a right to our own personal opinions on the subjects, I would say to both Enda and Joanie, that, given the obvious failure to enforce the famous 2011 election ‘five point plan,’ promises they should forgive us if their latest war cries fall on our deaf (and very wet) ears and empty pockets! Happy New Year to you all.