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February 3, 2011 / catherinebwrites

THE COUNTRY GROWS UP

The Irish have been like adolescents, so busy partying that we’ve only just realised that our parents are fallible, that not everything our teachers told us was true, that politicians are duplicitous and Life is not as simple as we thought.

When we set up our little Republic in the 1920’s we were innocents. We believed in Santa Claus, the Catholic Church, Bankers, Doctors, Layers, Teachers and, in spite of the fact that they slaughtered each other as well, we still believed in the Men who Fought For Our Freedom… but hush now, don’t mention the Civil War.

We believed that Church and State were a marriage made in Heaven and that they should definitely be in bed together. And when that marriage gave birth to the Constitution, we were thrilled. We prided ourselves on our National Independence and our Faith in the Catholic Church.
But, whenever we challenged authority, religious or lay, they slapped us down like bold children. And we acted like school-children confronted with a sadistic teacher. We did as we were told, bowed the head and said nothing or we ran way from home to England, America and Australia.

Then we got education, money and rock bands. We started to win things. We got into the quarter finals of the World Cup. Foreigners started to tell us that we were clever and funny. We became cocky teens. We partied,drank,snorted and had guilt-free sex. We travelled the world, wore designer clothes, arranged fabulous weddings. We were all for the craic and the craic it was mighty.

Then we came down with a bang. The Church let us down, the Law let us down, the Medical profession let us down, Bankers destroyed us and laughed in our faces,our politicians screwed us to the wall and blamed it all on the world economy.

Now the party’s over. Now we’re demanding accountability, responsibility, equality. In other words, we’ve grown up.

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