In trouble again
For some time there, he was the face of a new Ireland, the working class boy who attended all-Irish Gaelscoils and went on to become a world champion in a new sport. Then he had a number of run-ins with authorities, both civil and in his sport. He had only recently ended a short term of community service mandated by the courts when he was arrested in Miami for what was described as ‘strong-arm robbery and criminal mischief’. He was released on bail, after posting a bond, variously described as $5 000 or $12 500, and it is presumed that case will go to court. If he is found guilty, those numbers will be small compared to what he will lose if he is deported from America and not allowed to return.
It was bound to happen. If the Brits could have the world’s attention for months at a time, why not the Irish? So, a group has been set up calling itself the Irexit Freedom to Prosper party. One of the keynote speakers at their recent conference was Nigel Farage, the man who started the whole debacle engulfing Britain at the moment; another speaker was the noted contrarian John Waters. One of the younger speakers wore a Make America Great Again baseball cap; another young woman said she was there because she was a big fan of Farage and felt that it was time Ireland “took a few leaves out of Donald Trump’s book.” Another prominent supporter of Irexit is Ray Basset, a former ambassador to Canada, who spent a number of years as First Secretary at the Irish Embassy in Canberra.
The face was famous in the ‘70s when he was Minister for Finance. It was the time of the first oil crisis and hard decision had to be made, many of them by him. Indeed, the other members of the Fine Gael government of Liam Cosgrave tended to hide behind him, allowing him to take the flak. You could always blame Richie.
He was TD for a number of Dublin constituencies for 25 years and was then elected to the European Parliament where he served for 14 years. In a tribute to him, the current Taoiseach Mr Varadkar said, “the legacy of distinguished and selfless service he gave Fine Gael, his constituents and the country remains a benchmark for those of us in public service today.”
Richie Ryan died just before St Patrick’s Day. He was aged 90. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.
Who is in charge of the clattering train?
The axles creak and the couplings strain.
For the pace is hot and the points are near
And sleep hath deadened the driver’s ear,
And signals flash through the night in vain.
WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE CLATTERING TRAIN?
Eighty years ago, Winston Churchill quoted that verse by Edward J Milliken to indicate his despair at the way British politicians were dealing with events in Europe . His grandson Sir Nicholas Soames MP quoted it recently in a different (?) context. He is a Remainer, and suggests that May’s deal may be the best option.
No comments please on the role being played by the DUP – Ian Paisley’s party – in helping to keep the train on its wobbly tracks.