Recently graduated from University College Cork Lily Murphy gives her view on the ‘Tiger Cub’ generation who are waking up to the disaster bequeathed on them by the Fianna Fail Tigers.
Being unemployed makes me think a lot, I think about what my next Facebook status should be, I think about how the dirt under my nails got there, I think about how Ireland’s economic mess has failed to instigate any form of anger on the streets.
Ireland’s economic boom was built on false notions by the Celtic tiger generation, in 2008 it broke down and it is still not fixed. I was a student back then, only a few years ago, but it seems like a different world now. Back then I was living life like all the rest of the Celtic tiger cubs, pissing my money away with the absurd notion that there will be more of it when I wake up the next day. Little did I or anyone of my now lost generation think we would be waking up to the worst hangover we have ever had. That was back then, this is now and we are still finding it hard to shake off that hangover.
One of my favourite W.B Yeats poem’s is September 1913 in which he laments that ‘Romantic Ireland is dead and gone it is with O’ Leary in the grave‘. Yeats wrote that poem out of utter disgruntlement with the establishment but little did he know that just three years later a rebellion on the streets of Dublin during Easter week would light a flame of revolution in the hearts and minds of Irish people. It now seems that flame has long gone out.
A general election is about to rear its head and voters have the opportunity to oust the corruption which has brought this country to its knees. A change is coming to the Irish political landscape, a change which was not brought about by angry voices and marching feet. No blood was spilled, no buildings sacked, no politician lynched, no fighting spirit for which the Irish are so famed for.
On the day of the budget a small group of angry heads went to the gates of parliament, they shouted, the law mobilised, heads were cracked and they all went home. Later that night in a bar down town I sat talking to a fellow bar fly about the current mire the country was in. As his belly got full of beer and his head got swamped with notions, he splurred out his designs on marching up Kildare street the following day to storm the Dail like the French did with the Bastille. The next day came, just another Thursday in Dublin, just another Thursday across the country, needless to say no storming of the Dail occurred that day or any day after that.
2010 was the year which saw Ireland handed over to the IMF and the year saw little of the disaffected youth and rebellious talk. If we as a nation have become anything since independence it is that we have become immune to political cock ups, immune to economic failure, an immunity that has seen us accept socio economic fuck ups created by the few who wield power in this country.
Roisin Dubh has lost her flair for sending out men to die for her, not that I endorse it, Christ we have seen enough of bloodshed but unlike the Greeks and the French we don’t let our anger be shown, we bottle it up or in some cases find it at the end of a bottle. We have flowered into a nation of inert zombies willing to take what lashings the ruling government give us.
So no blood was spilled on O’ Connell street, no buildings were razed on Kildare street, a spate of protests did occur, students marched against the high cost put on their education, they went to the gates of parliament, they shouted, the law mobilised, heads were cracked and they all went home. On the day the IMF took control of our affairs a gang of disgruntled citizens took themselves to the gates of Parliament, they shouted, the law mobilised, heads were cracked and they all went home. The fighting Irish is now an endangered species.
The sobering fact is that this generation does not know how to rebel against authority.
Unlike the previous generations, this generation were reared into a society where money, material possessions and social standings were all guaranteed and for this it seems the Irish have redeemed themselves of their rebellious ways.
The fighting Irish are dead and gone, they are with Pearse and Connolly in the grave.
One day while walking past the dole office in the city with my friend, I noticed the long line and I asked him what was it all about. He stopped and pointed to the mile long welfare line, ‘life’ he answered ‘ but not as we know it.‘