Enda Kenny and the Assassination of Irish History

There have been many fine political speeches made in the course of Irish history. Speeches of the utmost eloquence that flowed magnificently and that moved and inspired listeners. Speeches of great vision that upheld the highest ideals and noblest aspirations. One can, however, rest assured that no speech by the current Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, will ever grace a list of outstanding Irish oratory. Characterised by incoherent thought and the shallowest of political vision – all presented in tortured language and in a puffed up manner – the only emotive response they are capable of stirring in listeners is an overwhelming urge to cringe.

But what are we to make of the recent trek of the Fine Gael faithful to Beal na mBlath to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the death of Michael Collins and what are we to make of the speech delivered by Enda Kenny there? It is standard practice of political parties in Ireland, of course, to make annual pilgrimages to commemorate esteemed historical figures in the hope that some of their standing will rub off. The Labour Party assemble at Arbour Hill every year where the bones of James Connolly cry out in agony from deep in the ground, “Please! No more! Do not continue to abuse me this way!” while Fianna Fail still make their way to Bodenstown to denigrate the memory of Wolfe Tone. Should we attribute any more significance to the recent Beal na mBlath gathering than the usual self serving activity of the bourgeois parties?

A great deal of the commentary on Kenny’s speech at the commemoration has focused on a substantial historical inaccuracy. Others have accused him of attempting (in another historical inaccuracy ) to revive civil war politics by asserting that Collins had been “assassinated”. But, as embarrassing as it is that the leader of the country and his well paid advisers are incapable of getting simple historical facts correct, is that the main issue with the speech? And when did Fianna Faíl and Fine Gael ever give up civil war politics? Finally, some have commented on the bombastic manner in which Kenny put him himself forward as a great warrior in the Collins tradition who will fight to the end for Irish freedom while he and his party willingly secede every greater amounts of is sovereignty to the EU. But this is treated as more of the usual Brave New World spin of contemporary bourgeois parties. War is peace, Slavery is Freedom.

Personally, I think the Beal na mBlath speech was a significant one and progressive public opinion would do well to prick up its ears. And what is significant was outlined quite clearly when Kenny stated:

“We will shortly begin a decade of national commemorations…….. the Dublin Lock-Out, The Easter Rising, The First World War, the War of Independence, The Treaty, the Civil War and many others, North and South. It is the firm intention of the government that the official commemoration of each and all of these milestones in our history will be generous and insightful…. inclusive and dignified.”

The ruling circles are cognisant of the turbulent waters they are currently navigating as the crisis of capitalism deepens, and they are more than aware of the effect the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1916 rising had on stimulating patriotic sentiment in the country. They are determined not to be caught out this time and are planning well in ahead. The plan is to rip any patriotic and progressive content out of major struggles fought by the Irish people. The Beal na mBlath speech was laying down a marker. It was an announcement that another major revisionist onslaught on Irish history is to be launched. Presenting economic sovereignty as the ability to borrow money on the international markets at “reasonable” rates and putting Michael Collins forward as an individual who would have embraced unelected EU bureaucrats running his country is just the start.

In this regard I note that this Saturday retired members of the Garda Siochana and the RUC will be holding a commemoration in Glasnevin cemetery to mark the disbanding of the RIC and Dublin Metropolitan Police and to honour the 500 policemen who were apparently “murdered” in the course of the War of Independence.

It is clear that in upcoming years Irish republicans, socialists, and indeed all honest citizens will have a huge battle on their hands to preserve the patriotic, progressive and revolutionary content of some of the most major struggles of the Irish people for freedom and justice. The ruling circles have commenced their offensive. It is time that progressive opinion started the fight back.

Sam Lord 23 August 2012
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5 Responses

  1. Behind the fantastical elements of Enda Kenny’s speeches there is certainly a message. The phrase that stuck out for me, in terms of revealing Kenny’s vision for Ireland was ”Ireland – a great little country to do business in.” Kenny has used this line before. Fianna Gael’s geopolitical role is now to act as ranchers, not so much of cattle on the hoof, as of the great little country’s ”young and well educated population”, on behalf of globalised industry. They rely on this population to produce exportable goods, and to repay the vast debts accumulated by the capital and asset owning classes of Ireland.

    For this population to remain compliant, the brutal realities of this transfer of wealth from working population to parasitical profit-takers has to be obscured. They fear the historic character of their own people, who have repeatedly asserted their rights to defend their own interests, and to organise to harness their joint capacities and strengths for this purpose, both in the labour movement and in the interests of national rights and sovereignty. No doubt with advice from the British through the GFA processes, there is a plan in place that has been well-flagged, to amalgamate commemoration of 1916 with some kind of ”Home Rule” commemoration. The Irish Times has already started issuing the supplements.

    John Bruton, as Fine Gael’s ”Think Tank Man in Chief” launched the campaign back in November 2011 in the Irish Times.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/1111/1224307370550.html

    ”Today’s problems, are, in truth, more susceptible to being solved by the patient, peaceful, political methods, of the kind deployed by Irish Home Rule advocates between 1873 and 1914, or by the peaceful protests of the kind deployed by Irish workers in 1913, than by the methods used in 1916.

    As I said, commemoration is a form of education for the future. That is why we should remember 1913 and 1914, as well as 1916.” (Bruton)

    Fine Gael has no problem with commemorating the Lockout, which was a deep defeat for the working class. But the party is fearful of the ground-breaking and unrealised revolutionary potential of the 1916 Rising, and the effects if the 100th anniversary commemoration on the thinking of the Irish population.

    Fine Gael is deeply averse to any kind of mass expression on the streets – even a homecoming for the Olympic Team was too much for them.

    There have been a number of meetings in the last year in which historians and political activists / parties have opened up discussion on 1916 and 1913. I hope that individuals and groups with a genuine interest in exploration and education of the Lockout and the Rising can come together and develop a programme of commemoration worthy of the events themselves, and the needs of today, independently of this Government who is clearly has an agenda of spin and psyops-type manipulation not education and celebration. The commemorations of 1798 might provide inspiration, as they were driven primarily by local committees who worked together for months on a multiplicity of events, culminating in a gathering in O’Connell Street.

  2. I pleaded with our Prime Minister, Enda Kenny and almost all parties and politicians over the last year to please help me in a nightmare situation with HSE Hospitals etc., ever since I was prescribed a Blood Pressure drug and suffered adverse side effects – it is frightening to note that there are so many organisations who speak out but for patients being tortured and killed in Irish Hospitals to cover up side effects or incidents – 150,000 patients suffered incidents in irish hospitals in 2010 ALONE – many died others left injured – not one person spoke out – even in the last week – what should have been a simple task/medically – blood pressure monitor placed on my arm for 24 hours – but nurse in this case placed an elasticated tubular bandage under the cuff – ask any doctor what that would do – again further severe injuries by healthcare providers and the whole country of politicians and “caring organisations” stay silent.

    Living in Ireland….born in Ireland…an Irish Native’s dilemma on an Irish cover up!

    If I were an asylum seeker I would have the protection of The Irish Human Rights Organisation and the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as many other Groups of Justice and Human Rights….

    If I were a member of the Travelling Community I would have the protection of Pavee Point, Equality and Justice, Irish Human Rights and many other such Groups….

    If I were a prostitute I would have the protection of Ruhama, Women’s Aid and many other such Groups…

    If I were a victim of torture from a foreign country I would have the protection of Irish Human Rights, The Red Cross and many other such Groups….

    If I were a victim of domestic violence I would have the protection of Women’s Aid, the Gardai and many other such Groups…

    If I were a victim of Corporate corruption I would have the aid and support of Transparency Ireland and other Groups…

    But as a patient who suffered adverse side effects of a blood pressure drug that I should never have been prescribed I have no support….I am shunned like a leper by the Department of Health, HIQA, ISQSH, the HSE and every HSE doctor, public hospital and by many Groups who profess to speak up for the oppressed and wronged in Irish Society….to be shunned I could deal with but I have suffered systematic torture at the hands of doctors in our hospitals and GPs…with the full knowledge of Prime Minister and Minister of Health….is this pharma control?…all to silence me on what is a worldwide exposure of a blood pressure drug, Rasilez Aliskiren….google it and see what you find. Doctors are harming and killing patients to cover up side effects of drugs in general medicine and psychiatary. HSE give 20% bonuses to consultants to “push” drugs on patients. We did not listen to Susie Long when she spoke out against the two tiered Health System in this country. We did not listen to Leonie Fennell when she spoke out against doctors in our country pushing anti-depressant drugs on our young people…will you listen to me?

    Fact: It is not compulsory for doctors or hospitals to report adverse side effects of prescription drugs to the Irish Medicines Board…why? Pharmaceutical companies state that they rely on doctors to report side effects so that they can improve on their drugs. Novartis Medical Director stated to me that he would do what he could both ethically and morally in what has happened to me….and still they harmed me further…should I believe him? Is this the HSE? Is it the Department of Health? Is it doctors and hospitals believing that because they have the protection of the HSE, the IMO, Consultant Groups and their Medical Schools. Write to the Medical Council so many told me and I did only to find out that the Medical Council protects them also….the words of one GP echo in my head “The Medical Council will do nothing on this” how right he was! Doctors in our hospitals truly believe they are above the law? Is it pharma control? Or is it a combination of all of the foregoing? Whatever it is, it is wrong, it is beyond medical malpractice. Is this the new Irish holocaust? Abusing the Mental Health Act comes easy to doctors covering up side effects of all prescription drugs – Their diagnosis for Aliskiren side effects of breakdown of immune system, swellings of eyes face, neck, acidosis, breakdown of pituary and thyroid glands, high liver enzymes and so much more as Anxiety – To put it in Irish style Sure wouldn’t any doctor prescribe Aliskiren to a patient with previous known medical history of Angiodema from Valsartan and other meds, allergy to penicillin, also asthma, hayfever, low sodium and low pottassium but mild BP on day. I asked about side effects told there were very few but in my case nothing to worry about?? Warnings were already issued by IMB in 2009 ignored by healthcare providers, Why?

    We the innocent people of Pharma/HSE/ and Government may suffer but I pray for the many students who study to become doctors and healers only to become puppets in fear!

    I appeal to good doctors who care about patients’ health and nurses who no longer wish to part of such torture to patients to step forward, speak out and “Stop the hurting of innocent patients”.

    “Those who prefer to favour freedom and yet deprecate agitation are people who want crops without ploughing up the ground. Power concedes nothing without a struggle. It never has and it never will.” Frederick Douglas

    “When Liberty and Democracy become unholy, innocent blood like red dye drips from their hands” – Mahatma Gandhi

    • Your problems don’t particularly relate to the post here about Enda Kenny’s speech at Beal na mBlath, but I can understand your frustration that there is not more attention given to side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. If you would like to post on this at our sister site, Politicalworld.org, it would better be discussed there. I see that there have been serious warnings in relation to Aliskiren.
      http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm301120.htm

      • Thank you I have done what you suggested.

    • I’m realy sorry to hear what they have let happen to you and i hope you can find peace with it.but it did happen to you and your still hear.you need to get your story out.contact radio shows,newspapers write a book,whatever.just tell people some how.you are proof and you know the story.
      This is realy messed up.I didnt think the number was so high.

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