By Glenn Gannon: Actor, author of Miracle Man, playwright, and former homeless man.
There was a public backlash after the RTE documentary My Homeless Family shown on RTE Television earlier this week – but where is the state action now?
After watching the disturbing documentary, I viewed Government minister for the environment and housing, Paudie Coffey, defend the indefensible on Claire Byrne Live, also on RTE.
It occurred to me, as I watched the huge difference in the view of the public and Government, that as we enter the centenary of the foundation of the state, we the Irish people have never had a Government that was of the people, for the people and created by the people, not once in 100 years.
Ireland has always been a state that looked after the wealthy first and the scraps fell from the establishment’s table to us.
The whole Irish political system is loaded in favour of they who rule us regardless of which political party or rainbow of parties that happens to be in power.
The brave men, women and children, yes children, who lost their lives for the Irish people during the rising of 1916 never made their terrible sacrifice, so that we, a once proud nation, should be answerable, with cap in hand to a cartel of the wealthy elite of Europe.
And James Connolly would be sick to his stomach to see a “leader” of his Labour party cow towing to anyone, let alone a foreign power and standing over the decisions of a Government hell bent on selling any state assets we may have left.
Add to that in this the anniversary of 100 years of questionable freedom and they, the Irish Government also seek to destroy part of the battlefield on Moore Street, where our once brave martyrs fought and died, for financial gain.
This notion gives one a true sense of the moral fibre of this Government.
If this Government were in power during the civil war, they would have called our freedom fighters rabble as Minister for heritage Heather Humphries, called the protesters trying to Save Moore street.
Our Taoiseach is going around Europe like the best pupil in the class with a big red, rosy apple called “recovery” meanwhile.
What he is NOT telling his European overlords is that the only recovery being felt here in Ireland is the recovery of the wealthy regarding their own purse strings, as Europe begins to relax its fierce grip on our cowardly Government.
However, a Government representing the Irish people, should have told them where to go in the first place. As the crash came down and decimated communities, it should have re-introduced the punt, as our national currency, taken control of our own fishing rights, our forestry rights, and every other asset our Irish sovereignty entitles us.
Our Government, in the interests of all of its people, should have showed Angela Merkel the Door, as indeed Michael Collins would have.
The Rising was a Glorious Moment in our history as a warrior nation. We repelled the Vikings, the British, the Spanish. We even scared the Romans so much the never invaded us.
So where has that fighting Spirit gone? Who are our leaders? Where is there a James Connelly, a Michael Collins, a Padraig Pearse. These, the true Irish leaders, are gone with the myth that Ireland is still a Republic.
We are not a republic in any way, shape or form and in fact, we have never lived up to the ideals of our brave martyrs – To cherish every child of the state.
800 families are homeless, 1500 children are homeless, 6,000 people are homeless, and countless families are as of yet, unaccounted for – but mark my words the count is much higher.
There are families forced to live with their elderly parents, in cramped conditions. While our homeless brothers and sisters, are dying on our streets. Is that recovery, Enda?
No, Mr Kenny would have his overlords believe this is not happening.
Despite all of the realities that we are indeed still still living in an incredibly unequal society, he and his ilk plan to spend €50 million to celebrate the Easter Rising!
House our children, house our citizens. If you want to honour our fallen heroes with that money, the fact is the only Rising occurring in 2016 is the house prices are RISING.
The number of homeless children is RISING, the statistics on the number of homeless families RISING. The number of our citizens dying on the streets is RISING.
If this Government stand at our GPO to celebrate the Easter Rising, they should hang their heads in shame.