March 22, 2023

Time to upgrade to Ireland, Version 2.0.

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As a nation we need to consider whether or not the Ireland which our forefathers envisaged after independence, has outlived its usefulness. Not long after independence of the 26 counties had been achieved, the enormity of the task of building a Nation from scratch dawned on the then and subsequent governments.Probably half of our population living today do not understand what it was like to have no electricity, no sewerage, no piped water, no telephone, no street lights and no tarmac roads. This was the Ireland which we inherited from our occupiers.

Bring electricity to rural Ireland in the 1920's

Effectively, we had nothing. Nothing, except the determination to succeed and build a nation of which all of it people, both at home and abroad could all be proud. There were many many courageous, dedicated and capable women and men down through the years, who turned what was effectively a bog field, into a modern thriving economy and society.

There were no JCB’s, tower cranes, dumper trucks, forklifts, electric winches, safety regulations or protection for those who were injured on the job. There was no social welfare system, access to health care was for the elite few as was a reasonable education, women were denied the right to vote and the ‘church’ ruled with the iron fist and hypocrisy of a crackpot dictator.  They were hard times but the people accepted and understood what was required, if we were to make the transformation and to stand tall among the Nations of the World.

Politically, we were still grappling with the after-effects of the Civil War. Where family fought with family, brother fought with brother and neighbour fought with neighbour. There were many bitter and deep divisions which poisoned our society and did so up until very recently. The transformation from bog field to a modern Country did not take place by accident. It was a result of decades of dedication and hard back breaking work, from so many of our people. This was a time of learning, of experimentation and of vision.

Indeed, if there is one thing that marked out the difference between the people and leaders who have gone before us and those now, it is that today there is no vision or indeed leadership. As a nation we are lurching from one crisis to another, most of our own making, like a drunk who knows where they want to be but hasn’t a clue how to get there. Funny that.

The people who went before us held a vision of Ireland in which all where equal and all were free. Free to pursue their lives without persecution, this was a very different Ireland from the one in which they grew up. They held a vision for a different and better Ireland in their hearts and they were determined to make it a reality. It was accepted that all the people of the Nation had a part to play.

There was many mistakes made along the way be they politically, socially and economically but this was to be expected from an embryonic nation. It is quite ironic, incredibly sad and upsetting that the biggest mistakes of all have been made by a government in our lifetime, which we elected. It is if we have learned nothing from the past. We appear to have forgotten that the Republic of Ireland is not simply a name, a flag or a symbol. Ireland is the very heart that beats in each and every one of us.

Being Irish is that warm glow of pride that we feel watching our nation’s representative’s rise to the very pinnacle of achievement on the international stage, in any number of disciplines. There is seemingly no end to the talent which emanates from this small nation. This is who we are and who we have always been. The question now is whether we can recognise the strengths that we possess and make them work for the good of all of us in what is our greatest challenge yet i.e. the very survival of our ‘Ireland’.

On an individual level, those who could or those with the ‘right’ connections allowed material wealth to become a substitute for a true vision of what our country could and should be. To be fair they could probably not be expected to know any better. Over the last 15 years, practically all of those who could, behaved like a teenager after getting their first wage packet. It was all about them, all about what they could buy, all about how much they could show others how much they could buy, it was all about being a modern consumer. It was, simply, all about them!

The vast majority of those who benefited from this newly acquired ‘wealth’ choose to forget that they were part of a country which by extension is society. They also seemed forget that it is only through sharing a collective vision of what type of society we want to live in, can we succeed as a nation of which we can all be proud. The ignorance and incompetence in choosing effective, honest Government and the heretofore collective apathy,  whereby nearly four out of ten people did not bother to vote, needs to end, now.

We should decide now that the Republic of Ireland up until now should be referred to as Version 1.0, and that version should be confined to history.  It is time we designed a new operating system from the ground up. This is possible now, precisely because all is lost. It is the silver lining in an otherwise dark and dismal cloud. It is time to launch Ireland Version 2.0 !

The follow up to this article, which deals with Ireland Version 2.0 and how we get there, will be published in this Sunday’s Independent (30th May) and will be posted here on Monday 31st.


12 Comments on Time to upgrade to Ireland, Version 2.0.

  1. “Probably half our population living today do not understand what it was like to have no electricity no sewerage no piped water no telephone no street lights no tarmac roads. This was the Ireland we inherited from our occupiers’. . . Er, excuse me???!! I think you will find that Ireland in 1919 had all of these things, though admittedly by 1922 it had a lot less of them thanks to the contribution of the humane and far-seeing tradition which you and your late father have always represented. Ireland in 1919 also had divorce, no censorship, no clerical dictatorship and a nascent welfare state, all of which were also swiftly dismantled by the likes of your family and the other extremist barbarians who brought us our ‘freedom’ – which incidentally was the artificial creation of British indulgence, since even an economist of your limited gifts must see that Ireland could not have survived from 1922 until the present day had it not been able to dump tens (sometimes hundreds) of thousands of people a year on labour market of the country of which it was so proudly ‘independent’. Where else could they have gone, when, after 1920, the USA effectively closed its doors to Irish migrants? And now you yourself are throwing yourself on the civilisation you and your family have always declared your detestation of. What a hypocrite! If you want to know why Ireland has never been particularly successful – whereas the Irish have always flourished abroad, as you say – perhaps you should study the ‘Founding Fathers’ you so eulogise and their philosophy – Dev, Michael Collins, Mulcahy and all the other bigoted, financially incompetent killers – not to mention Haughey, Boland, Blaney pere et fils, who bought into their obscurantism, their tribalism and their incompetence. I think you will find that it was only they – and of course their well-connected children, like yourself – who were ever able to ‘live their lives without persecution’.

    • A pathetic, misinformed and bigoted comment although elegantly put. Historic ‘t’s’ crossed and ‘i’s’ dotted but not one solution proffered nor any indication of the authors own, no doubt substantial, contribution to his country or indeed that by his own family.

      Sad to witness so much hate in so few words by one so obviously beyond reproach! NRN

  2. Eugene WHO??? at least this guy has tried to change soething in this country. You put him down for the fact that nothing changed, the reason nothing changed is that the people chose to vote for the Same OLd Same Old, Tou make a very stupid point in that. Eamon Blaney did something and stuck his head out,, What have you done?? your a sick jealous man maybe you are envious eamonn did what you know you should have. With people like you no wonder most people just keep their heads down. Well done Eamon Blaney and well done New Vision for trying

    • Good on you Onners. You have struck a great blow for democracy. Eamonn did try but he failed because his arguments failed to persuade people that he had a new vision. Not in my wildest dreams would I ever envy anyone who is leaving the country because they have not the courage or wit to survive here.

  3. Dear Eamonn, I read today that you are leaving us. May I be the first to wish you Bon Voyage, Slán go Foill, Hasta la Vista and may you enjoy the same success over there you enjoyed here. May you take many more poisonous leprechauns with you. I commend the people of Ireland who were not fooled by your claims of intellectual superiority and I doubt that the British will be either.

    • Claims of intellectual superiority ? I don’t remember making any. Compared to the useless gobshites running this Country a single celled amoeba would be ‘intellectually superior’.

      • Was it people with MBAs that brought down the banks? How many academic economists worldwide got it wrong? If calling others gobshites is your only contribution then we are well rid of your likes.

      • Dear Eugene,

        I predicted the scale of the 2011 Irish soverign debt FOUR years ago, on this website! If getting 3,000 votes in the General Election doesn’t count as a ‘contribution’ in your world maybe you should try it sometime. Most of the economists got is totally wrong, which is why I have absolutely no respect for it as a profession. The people of this Country buried their collective heads in the sand and accepted the lies they were being told.

        Lisbon for jobs, Lisbon for Recovery ????

      • I predicted the bust many years before you, which is why I do not have to leave the country. All through the boom and all through the bust I have never missed a single payment on my mortgage.

        Your “new vision” for Ireland involves calling others gombiens but any barstool politician can do that. Would this (in the opinion of an independent minded person) be indicative of a person capable of making a positive contribution to society or someone with not the capability or the wit to articulate a “new vision”. I am fed up of Irish people attacking Irish people with ignorance and prejudice. I strongly suggest leave aside emotion and seek a scientifically critical evaluation of the true causes of our financial crisis. You clearly have failed to do this and what is more you have not looked at the financial figures for our nearest neighbour let alone the EU or US.

        Economists aside, you have clearly not examined the role of academia or its financial theories in the current crisis. In fact they were one of the primary causes of the severity of the bust. All we get is opinion based on superficial evaluations that are intended to be repeated by those who refuse to expend energy on cognition for the purposes of putting the blame elsewhere.

        I have a memory of you stating on national radio that “new vision” candidates had more degrees and master degrees that everyone in the houses of the Oireachtas put together. You implied that your collective intellectual power is what was needed to get us our of this crisis. To date, I have seen no positive contribution or no inspirational leadership. I listed intently back then, so I could build a mental picture of a “New Vision” but in the end all I got was the same old, same old.

      • 1. You don’t know me personally, professionally or socially.
        2. You don’t know what research I have done nor the sources of same.
        3. The following are examples of your own prejudice taken from your comments above My answers are in italics ;

        “I strongly suggest leave aside emotion and seek a scientifically critical evaluation of the true causes of our financial crisis. You clearly have failed to do this and what is more you have not looked at the financial figures for our nearest neighbour let alone the EU or US”. Not true. I am more than satisfied as to my knowledge of the causes of the financial & democratic meltdown we are now facing.

        “You implied that your collective intellectual power is what was needed to get us our of this crisis. To date, I have seen no positive contribution or no inspirational leadership.” I did not imply anything, I stated the facts. Furthermore, as you have not seen any contribution or demonstration of leadership, I suggest you run in the next election and show the rest of us how it’s done.

        “I predicted the bust many years before you, which is why I do not have to leave the country.” Yeah, and my dick is bigger than yours!

        “I am fed up of Irish people attacking Irish people with ignorance and prejudice.” – I couldn’t agree with you more……

        I suggest you get off your PC high horse and snuggle up to Fis Nua, as they are not doubt ‘your kind of people’. That of course, is only my opinion which, I would expect you to respect. Consider this the end of any further exchanges in relation to this matter, here, as I have printed every word of yours verbatim, to date.

      • I concede that your dick is bigger as everyone can see it on your shoulder. Because of my physical attributes my arguments are not valid. Therefore your statement is the exemplar of the ad hominem fallacy. It would appear that due care and attention are missing from all your line of argument. This illustrates my original point that you cannot claim authority from your qualifications alone and that persuasion is the result of cogent arguments. You provide us with nothing more than barstool descriptions of our problems. You put forward hardly any rational workable proposals instead you urge us to vote for you. (to satisfy your personal ambitions) When you failed to get elected you now claim to be buggering off and embittered by your own personal failures you attack all and therefore have no valid contribution to make to our society. Thus may I wish you Bon Voyage again.

  4. There will be no Ireland 2.0. We are F….D!

    They paid the bondholders, we have until August 2012.

    Nothing will ever change in this country. Overpaid public servants and political hacks both in the Dail, Senate and local Government. Dun Laoghaire I think you understand the town is on its knees. A look along the main street from the Peoples Park to the lights at the centre of the town will show how run down it has become.

    The residents can’t run into a shop for 2 seconds longer than 10 minutes or be 2 seconds over their time limit for parking before they see a bill for €40 for over alert parking attendants…..Jon Watters will tell you about this!

    Meanwhile, the 28 elected County Councillors of Dun Laoghaire all on big salaries are proposing to go ahead and build a new library at a cost of €30m plus AND develop the derelect Dun Laoghaire baths (without an adult swimming pool!) for €20M plus! How many people go into libraries today? Enough to warrant a spend of €30m? This 50M should be put into rate reductions for shops and incentives for new shops to open ….and decent car parking facilities at reasonable rates, at least equivalent to Dundrum Shopping Centre.

    Give me €30M and I’ll sort out the parking in Dun Laoghaire, get people shopping there again rather than going to Dundrum where they can park for 3 hours for just €2 or Stillorgan where they can park free.

    Also, amongst these 28 County Councillors there are four that are on the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Board an entity to itself like, Dublin Port, with overpaid public servants. How much extra do these Councillors get for being on that Board? How much is the CEO of the Harbour Board paid? (State secret I believe!)

    Dun Laoghaire County Council should oversee the Harbour but when issues about the harbour come up the ‘public servants’ on the Harbour Board, leave the Council due to conflict of interest!!! This stuff is unbelievable, I thought it went along with Fianna Fail but obviously not.

    FF/FG/Labour Rule and always will, being elected as an Independent is worthless. Nothing will change in this country until the IMF come in and take over and rule it properly starting by getting rid of a huge amount of public and civil servants and all salaries over 100K for all public and civil servants

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