Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Ireland Continues to Remember 1916 and Continues to Betray It (With Some Canadian Help)

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.

 

More articles by:

Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Suyapa Portillo Villeda
An Illegitimate, US-Backed Regime is Fueling the Honduran Refugee Crisis
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail