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Letters from Ireland I

Irland steckt in einer tiefen Krise. Nicht nur wirtschaftlich geht es bergab, auch politisch steht das Land an der Abbruchkante. Der seit vielen Jahren in Nordrhein-Westfalen lebende Ire Hugh Murphy reist in seine Heimat zurück und schreibt über das, was er sieht. Hier der erste Brief unseres Gastautors. Geschrieben wenige Stunden vor dem Abflug.

„Hello,

I’m heading back to Ireland today for a few days and it’s like heading into a war zone. Tall pillared buildings, where once busy officious bankers went in and out are now emptying. Doors and windows are hanging from broken hinges and occasional explosions can be heard in the cellars where toxic material lay hidden till now. Very occasionally, a leading banker will raise a white flag, stick his head above the parapet and shout ‘Sell out! Sell out! Now!’ He is prepared to deal with the invader already. His type never loses.

Up the road from Trinity College a few enraged mortgage holders are trying to storm the Dail (parliament) and lynch those who led them into the mess. Their rage stems as much from the fact that they know they have themselves as much to blame. Why did they accept 100% mortgage loans at variable interests when they were just married with a kid and only shortly before had started into their first job? Didn’t they realize how close to the front they were in the risk-taking zone? Was this the fecklessness the puritan English always accused the Irish of?

Why didn’t they leave after they grew up as the generations did before them? Why did they stay on in Ireland after their teens and educate themselves for an illusionary future in Ireland? Why did they think they had the computer world by the short hairs when their real success was to flood the world with Botox?

When you’re young you are hopeful and that is why the banks could play fairy god-mother when in fact they were just another excrescence of Joyce’s old sow ever ready to eat her young. The genius of the Irish has always had to go abroad or hide in Ireland (mostly in pubs). The great state institutions, the Church and whatever industry there was never provided scope.

We left in the 50s and the 60s because we needed to breath. Church and State and de Valera (or was it John Mcquaid?) had us by the throat whenever we made a move. We never had the energy to go back. But we didn’t forget.

The Celtic Tiger held on to or attracted back some of the best of this generation. We were so proud when they seemed to take the country by the scruff of the neck and make it into a place they wanted to live in and bring up their families in. Now they are open to the old charge of fecklessness. It wasn’t true then and it is not true now.

I’ll have more to tell after landing, Hugh Murphy.“

Letters from Ireland I

Letters from Ireland II

Letters from Ireland III

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