Archive for June, 2011

President & Leader
June 30, 2011

I am wholly convinced that what is happening in the World is linked to my candidature for Áras an Uachtaráin, and that when I will be given the responsibility of ninth president of Ireland, I will concurrently be also taking on the responsibility of a leader among the world leaders.

I am one who is in touch with what is going on in the lands to the east and south of the Mediterranean. Since the beginning of this year I have been very moved by the human dignity awakening that is taking place in the Middle East, and North Africa. Now, you might ask what has that got to do with the ninth presidency of Ireland? The answer is we don’t know.

However, one thing is certain, that the ninth president will need to be able to understand, and empathize with where these peoples have come from in their struggle for a new life, and be willing to be a part of their aspirations and dreams.

Ireland has on many levels a very good reputation in North Africa, and even more so in the Middle East, especially in the fields of education, health, and agriculture. We mutually need each other, and as such we can mutually benefit each other.

An empathetic, visionary, warm-hearted president would work wonders in ushering in a new era of investment and mutual cooperation. We here in Ireland cannot afford to miss out on this golden opportunity for self-recovery.

I lived in the Middle East for six years (KSA,UAE), and have grown to love its natural beauty; its profound cultures, and the endless hospitality of its peoples. Hospitality, culture, and beauty are also synonymous with Ireland.

Hospitable peoples can work with the greatest of ease with hospitable peoples.

And here is a poem I composed back in March which brings out clearly my empathy with what is happening in this beautiful – ancient in culture region of the world.

~Man a’ ma of Al Bahrayn ~

Bad rain; bad rain choppering down
on the precious pearls of the isles of Al Bahrayn.
In saying, insane, insanity.
Kaaba’s wall, Western’s wall, n’ Vatican’s wall
are weeping, weeping, weeping over this, n’ more besides.
But why; why, why aren’t Christians, Jews, n’ Muslims,
weeping in kind?
Too caught up they are in the actions of praying.
Bowing, swaying, kneeling,
n’ wording away into their own ears;
quite oblivious of the weeping walls there before them.
This is not a Shia Sunni; a Sunni Shia conflict.
This is humanity asserting its birthright.
An Islamic awakening, you think?
Perhaps, a Jewish awakening?
Even, a Christian awakening maybe?
Dream on, dream on, n’ dream on.
Look around you; look around you, look around you!
Don’t confine to such levels the aspirations of humanity.
Man a’ ma – father n’ mother crying for their pearls:
wailing for their children all day long
n’ long long long into the dark lonely night.
Where is the best place with Allah; with Yhwh, with God?
The best place, you ask?
The best place is living in dignity in the here n’ now
upon this munificent garden planet.
And what is it be living in dignity?
It is among others things to be respectful n’ caring of self,
n’ of one’s neighbours near n’ far.
It is to be collectively safekeeping the well being
of this our miraculous home here among the stars.
Silence; silence is for the fishes of the waters.
We humans have a voice; a voice to speak up for respect;
a voice to speak out against the vaporization of people,
n’ the disregard for all that is good n’ noble in humanity.
Beloved Mother Arabia, why;
why are you letting yourself be molested?
Why are you letting yourself be influenced
by those ephemeral powerful few
who little care for you,
your beloved children,
or your admirable civilization?
Greed is gawking you squarely in the eye, yet you cannot see it.
What mother; tell me, what mother slays her own children?
Listen; listen to your sacred heart; listen to it.
Stop; stop, stop adhering to absentee voices
of blatant cold indifference.
Blame, blame is but the pinnacle of shame.
Wake up; wake up a new dawn is emerging for humanity.
Show us a way please,
for we too are lost due to our ignobility.
Trust first in your deepest roots:
in your ancient Bedouin heart;
your great compassionate, patient heart.
Dry your tears;
your many many many tears,
‘n be with gratefully rising to your feet,
n’ joyfully putting on a new garment,
for a new day it is,
n’ with loving fragrantly,
we resolutely need to be.

Richard Mc Sweeney 23.6.2011


Richard Mc Sweeney – aka “Richard of Eire” – is a “mystery candidate” in the forthcoming Presidential Elections of 2011

Gerry Adams 1reland Roadshow Comes to the People’s Republic of Cork
June 27, 2011

Gerry Adams was keynote speaker last night on the next phase of his Uniting 1reland tour, speaking at Cork City Hall with a panel of six including veteran broadcaster Michael O’Muireachtaigh and ex Farmers Union leader Ruaidhri Deasy. The event was a Sinn Fein initiative, but meant to engage a broader audience, Adams said.

The objective was to start a debate about unification of North and South, and Adams had clearly been better briefed than before the general election about how to shmooze the south, His commanding though unoriginal speech was littered with sporting references, mentions of Corkmen of note and good natured but disparaging remarks about Kerry, which is what Corkonians apparently like. His chief point was that a single administration would be cheaper and examples of health service cooperation were given. He avoided talk of republican values of the kind Pearse Doherty is famous for, because of course Sinn Fein in govnt in the North is indistinguishable from any other European social democratic party happily implementing neo-con economic policy.

He was followed by speakers delivering some pretty uninspiring fare including a history of the beginning of national schools in 1850, the cost of passports for cows moving back and forth across the border and some words of encouragement from GAA managers after a difficult game.

Dr. Ruan O’Donnell held the audience with his account of our national troubles, but the idea that if we had been a united country (6 instead of 4.5 million) we would have had greater clout in negotiating the EU IMF deal seemed far fetched – and bypassed entirely the question of how a united Ireland would have prevented us from ever getting to that point – as was his rosy belief that the new government have got to grips with our economic problems and the future looks bright again.

What disappointed about the evening was that apart from Adams point about the savings to be made by uniting the two adminstrations, there was no discussion of the problems or the purpose of a single country. A packed hall was essentially none the wiser at the end of the evening than when it started. Perhaps, as Michael O’Muireachtaigh said, the idea of a united Ireland was a lovely dream somewhere beyond the horizon that would somehow one day arrive, we knew not how.

In the short term, you have to ask, why would anyone in the North want to vote for unification and suffer the nightmare of a Fianna Fail or a Fine Gael government? And what about the problems of multinationals and American interests , which are calling the shots no matter what colour flag we put up on our poles?

The best (and worst) speeches came from the floor, with one woman saying that if a united Irleand meant a panel of six men and one woman, they could stuff it. A man said to applause that every attempt to build a republic had resulted in yet another government pretty much like the last and that the pursuit of equality was far more important than the pursuit of a single but similar government. The accommodation of so many speakers for the evening meant that these questions were not answered by the panel, undermining the idea that a dialogue was being had. That may have been a matter of relief for Adams who sat uncomfortably through two rants from old timers about getting British troops out of Ireland now.

Instead the evening ended with two surreal events. Gerry Adams presented a plate for sevices to the country to Michael O’Muireachtaigh, a man who had with tears in his eyes talked about the ‘little people’ being given a chance to go to Trinity and about how the Queen’s recent visit was the best sign yet that a republic was on the way. It was his turn to shuffle uncomfortably when Adams reminisced fondly about listening to him on the radio during his many spells in prison. And finally, just to cement the impression that this was an evening of sentiment rather than debate, we ended by looking at the backs of Adams and co lined up as they faced the flag to the sounds of the national anthem, sung beautifully if sentimentally by her off the telly, Deirdre Archbold.

boozwatch 27.6.2011

Is John Waters now our national “bean caoineadh”?
June 25, 2011

Fadó, fadó, ‘twas the tradition to have bean/mná caoineadh, or keeners (from the Irish for lamenting/weeping), at funerals. Their task was to extol the virtues of the dead and make a great show of grieving over the loss. Just in case there was any doubt. It was a paid occupation and mná caoineadh were expert at the task of wailing and ullagoning. Sadly, the tradition died out – until recently that is.

I first noticed Waters’s revival of this tradition at the time of Katy French’s controversial death.

“I am crying, writing this,” he began. Promising start! He continued in a display of hyperbole that revealed a Natural Born Keener: “Katy French was a personification of our fantasies, of our sense of what we were becoming, of how we might unfold ourselves. She was not the only one, but in the immediate past was perhaps the most spectacular light on the skyline, a meteorite of desire plummeting through the Irish zeitgeist… yadda, yadda, yadda…”.

He had ‘em bawling at the crossroads – job done, payment received from the grieving Irish Times.

Upon the controversial death of Gerry Ryan, Waters let a screech out of him, the like of which hadn’t been heard since the mná caoineadh of Ulster learned of the untimely demise of Cú Chulainn. However, keening for Ryan proved to be something of a crowded field and Waters’s contribution was lost in the national frenzy of mourning and weeping.

Like a true professional, Waters took this in his stride and honed his skills, abandoning this ol’ skool approach. The polished result was most recently evident in his keening for Brian Lenihan, firstly for the distraught “Irish” Heil on Sunday and the same piece re-cycled for the inconsolable RTE. (Two paydays! Now that’s what I call keening.) The lament on RTE’s News at One is quite a piece of work.

A set-up by Seán O’Rourke, calling Lenihan a “latter-day Braveheart” [that actually happened – on a news programme], followed by the punch-line of Waters’s keening: “…He stepped out of history from a line that included Pearse and Collins and Lemass… He had that air about him that now we encounter only in history books… yadda, yadda, yadda…”

Job done, not a dry seat in the house.

It’s a good niche this keening business, with a long list in need of Waters’s unique skill. Now, may Holy God and his Blessed and Holy Mother be between the likes of Fingleton, Fitzpatrick, Drumm, Ahern, Cowen, McCreevy, McAleese, and all harm. May they be kept safe until they’ve had the chance to make at least a dent in their pay-offs, bonuses, pensions and foreign bank accounts. But it’s nice to know that Waters is on standby to interpret what the loss, Holy God forbid, of any of them would mean.

He could point out how the sight of Fingleton with his hat at a jaunty angle was enough to give the entire nation a lift and may have inspired Philip Treacy. As for Fitzpatrick, the man was a visionary. Didn’t he say it was time to tackle the sacred cow of welfare? We are now in the process of slaughtering that cow, exporting the carcass and then re-importing the offal in the form of burgers to be served in the Dáil restaurant. Perhaps we could re-import the hide in the form of a stout pair of brogues to give the lazy Irish a good kick up the hole. The scroungers on welfare and the shirkers in jobs cribbing about taxes and levies – at least, that is doubtless how a self-made man like Fitzpatrick would envision it. There’s some good material there for bean caoineadh Waters.

As O’Rourke soberly pointed out on that News at One episode, “It was the Roman writer Plautus translating from the Greek who observed… he whom the gods love dies young”. We may be hearing from our new national treasure again soon. God forbid, obviously.

(Note: Purists may say that Waters is actually a fear caoineadh, but there’s a certain pantomime quality about his schtick that casts him as a bean caoineadh. A drag act, swathed in a shawl, his eyes gleaming with fundamentalist fervour.)

Justin Casey 25.6.2011

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