St. Patrick's Day in Galway 2007- Official! Spirituality & Patriotism to be replaced by Worship of Money

The greatest day in the Irish calendar - St. Patrick's Day - is now to go the way of other important religious, celebratory and national days.
For the Galway City Business Association has decided to break with tradition established in 1903 when the local Parade was initiated by announcing that retail outlets will open for business. In so doing, they are helping to undermine family and spiritual life in Ireland.

Over the last few decades, the insatiable appetite to make money has taken precedence over all other human needs. Led by the big supermarket chains such as Dunnes Stores, Sundays are no longer a shop-free day, nor Thursdays & Fridays in Race Week, nor Easter Sunday.
Under financial pressure, small businesses have gradually found that they had to follow suit.

Even for the non-religious, these days once had a uniqueness and sparkle that gave them a special magical ambiance. Except for the hospitality sector, retail outlets and businesses closed their doors allowing workers and their families to enjoy the nice things in life together free from the stresses of work or the hassle of shopping: they could go for a picnic, take a stroll up a mountain, a cycle or a drive in the countryside, pray at church and meet friends and neighbours, visit a carnival or go to the cinema. Devoid of frantic shoppers or people rushing to the office, town centres looked and felt more peaceful as smiley happy people sauntered around at a leisurely pace as if they had not a care in the world.
Sadly, successive governments are caving into the business sector and curtailing family life and the rights of workers.
I do not want to be over sentimental- there was a lot wrong with the old Ireland- its poverty, its domination by an arch-conservative Catholic Church, its intolerance...However are we not now 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater?'
As WB Yeats said, they have their hand in the "...greasy till..." and in the process "...Romantic Ireland is Dead and Gone, it is with O'Leary in the grave...".

On second thoughts, maybe there is one symbol of old Ireland that the Big Retail Chains are consciously promoting- the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow?!!!

1 comment:

Gerry said...

Ya you know the most disgusting thing is these days that is meant to be for celebration of traditions have become a day for discounts and attracting customers. I don't know about Ireland but in the US there's a huge marketing effort behind all this, and it's just to make money and generate profit.