Famous Irish Quotes & Sayings - Part 11

"The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise!"

Attributed to both James Connolly
(Irish socialist revolutionary executed by the British in 1916)

& 'Big Jim' - James Larkin (Irish socialist agitator whose statue stands on O'Connell Street in Dublin)

'Tis the End of the Party. But Passing of the Progressive Democrats is to be Welcomed

This weekend's decision of the members of the Progressive Democrats(PDs) to cease to exist as a political party was good news. While the PDs came into existence in 1985 with noble aspirations to expose state and political corruption as well as to secure progress on liberal social issues such as divorce and contraceptive, they soon took on the mantle of promoting free market Thatcherite economic policies which became the hallmark of successive governments over the last few decades. Whilst this led to the Celtic Tiger phenomena that gave Ireland unprecedented levels of growth and wealth, the monies gained have been wasted on over-development, property speculation. privisation and in creating a dehumanising urban sprawl of concrete jungles and puny but sterile greens spaces. 'Progress' has created an immoral 'Me-Feinism' that puts the rights of the individual before the rights of society and spawned a new Irish identity that is characterised by greed, arrogance and naked capitalism. Our political establishment has embraced a pro-Bush stance on foreign policy that has undermined our moral leadership abroad.

Whilst I personally got on quite well with local PD TD Noel Grealish, particularly for his anti-incineration stance, and with Galway PD councillors O'Flaherty, Lyons and O'Donnell on a number of local issues, nevertheless the party's departure is a blessing that hopefully will help to the re-emergence of respect and support for a 'community' ethos in the Irish body politic.