I love Ireland. It is a naked statement but I do.
I love the countryside. Crisp air, mist settling at distance on the horizon of dew laden grass, a cliff face etched to laugh at your mortality and rain to extinguish your softness and make supple your humour. It is natural beauty that sweeps your thoughts clean, cracks a smile on your face and makes you laugh at the absurdity of idle thoughts pedaling crumbling nonsense.
I love our sport. The speed and lift, the neat turn, quick wrist and wit.
I love Dublin. Its meandering streets, heavy with history of a clannish rebellious kind. I love its pubs. I love its drawl, its forceful jibes and cosy randomness.
I love that a small, no minute, island nestled against a wild Atlantic shrugged off its stern neighbour and how its people became foundation stones of countries littered across our world.
I love how we Irish work, full of action and literal song. I love that we plunge right in, truly seeking to help or finish the job. I love that we care. I love how we write, deep, cavernous, honest.
I love how we Irish talk, dripping with emotion, alive with feeling, dancing with life. I love how we laugh and cry. Laughter that tickles the soul, and sledges the stupidity in morose pride. Tears that swell with empathy and drip softly with deep sadness.
Yet I hate how we failed.
I see Irish men and women scale mountains in global industry, yet I witness our national leaders squabble in the depths of mediocrity. I seethe with rage at the rape and pillage of our country and the nodding acceptance that provides fertile ground for future greed.
I hate the same faces peering from the same poles, promising this, failing to deliver that. The nod, the wink, the he’s related to she, don’t you know and sure they always voted that way, don’t ya know.
Leaders that singularly fail to inspire, parties that make us neatly divide, slogans that slither for our approval. No plan, no vision just endless mired revisions. I hate the language of government that seeks to harness a diaspora while arresting its voice.
I hate how these missives echo into silence as an army of Irish lies slumbering outside its doorstep. I hate how we bend the knee to a global stereotype, playing the jester at the world court. I hate that we embrace it and refuse to challenge it.
A childish thought plays constantly to my inner ear. I wish we came together. Awoke from our parish, our village, our town. Reached out across the many waters and brought the weight of many tired voices crashing down. Time to banish the nod and wink, time to tear obfuscation from its crown. The clock is ticking. This is our country, it is past time.