There’s too much democracy around these days folks.
Years back a panel of experts would be sequestered and they’d come up with proper questions, while we were out drinking, before presenting us with the proper answer before we got the last round in.
They’d do our thinking for us, unlike RTE, who have gone and done it again with their Greatest Irish Person of all time poll.
Bono, a tax dodger, Michael Collins a killer, John Hume a bluffer, James Connolly, and auld Noddy, Mary Robinson, have made the Top 5 shortlist for the above award.
You may recall that Noddy and her housebound insulted the highest office in the land after fucking off to take up a position with the completely useless UN before her tenure as Irish President was up.
“I am of two pensions, come dance with us in the Hague,” said Mary as she embraced the marginalised and marginalises the marginalisers of the marginalised.
Why, during her term of office, a tenure in which she concocted some of the most mind-numbing clichés known in the English language, Mary even found time to embrace the marginalisers of the people who were once rampant marginalisers but who are now, thanks to her intervention, also embracing the marginalisers of the marginalised, going forward.
Bono, meantime, has the balls to lecture governments on their contributions to international aid agencies while he and the Fab Four have all their doubloons stashed away in Holland to avoid paying taxes.
And he’s also a bollocks.
Collins, a man who left many Irish families grieving for loved ones, the collateral damage of an irredentist claim which he more or less created, was the founding father of modern terrorism. He wrote the script.
Another unfortunate legacy of the Collins myth is that the virus of Yeats’s Cathleen Ní Houlihan is still stalking the land and has downloaded iself into the cerebral cortexes of normally intelligent people such as Michael McDowell to such an extent that he appears to have bought into this hissing of a spent Republican lie.
McDowell recently described the ex Minister for Finance as our Nelson Mandela. “He was a man for all seasons: he was our George Washington, our Nelson Mandela, ” he said of Collins.
GUBU, to paraphrase another great Irishman, Conor Cruise O’Brien, the man who intellectually decommissioned physical force Irish nationalism.
O’Brien also exposed Charles Haughey 20 years before the rest, while his book States of Ireland should be prerequisite reading in our schools. John Hume emphasised just how great this book is when he described it as an exercise in total paranoia – essential reading in other words.
We ignored O’Brien’s accusations about Haughey and Fianna Fail, treating him as some sort of deranged Gaelic Cassandra, but he was proved to be right and we have reaped the whirlwind, courtesy of the institutionalised corruption which has brought this country to its knees.
This isn’t the first time that RTE – which we pay for – have dumped down on us by providing opportunities for cretins to cast votes. A few months back they provided the platform for the full-frontal lobotomised ones to cite Padraig Harrington as the Greatest Irish Sportsman of all time even though golf isn’t a sport.
Montrose started out with a list of 40 for above. To give you any idea of where they were coming from, Westlife, a group of individuals devoid of any discernible talent, are on the list despite the fact that Rory Gallagher’s drummer put more thought into his Hi-Hat work than this repellent band put into entire CDs.
Louis Walsh, a deformed pygmy, is also included. Why not Jedward while you’re at it?
Writing in one of today’s broadsheets, Cathal MacCarthy quite correctly points out that Walsh has done more damage to Irish culture than Cromwell.
McCarthy recalls an LP of Sinatra covers that Walsh and Westlife desecrated and concludes that they managed to do the impossible and mutilate the heritage of two great artistic nations.
Stephen Gately, who had the decency to die last year – a good career move as Elvis Presley’s manager remarked after the King quite literally slipped off the throne – made the top ten, even though he had no talent at all.
Is Gately more talented than WB Yeats, who hasn’t even made the top 10? And what does it say about us as a nation when a Karaoke artist finished higher than the greatest poet of the last two centuries?
Tone, Parnell, Davitt, Swift, O’Casey, Synge, lesser talents than Gately obviously, and Daniel O’Connell, who Tim Pat Coogan believes was a truly international figure in that the civil rights movement in the USA had its roots in his successful drive for Catholic emancipation, Shaw, nor Joyce made the top five or ten for that matter.
Neither did Beckett, a mad fucker granted. When he originally wrote Waiting for Godot he didn’t want any actors on stage at all, just an old chair and some bollocks giving an occasional groan out of him in the background.
The French, sick bastards, were mad for it, but not Paddy. Being from a backward country, Paddy wanted dialogue and acting and such. The French were having none of that though.
Daniel O’Donnell, meantime, made it into the top 30. A few years back O’Donnell’s manager insisted that he be shifted from the mainstream charts into the middle of the road charts to boost sales. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the middle of the road during rush hour.
Charles Haughey also made the Top 40, while Ronan Keating, another talentless bastard, is also included.
A spokesperson for RTÉ said:
“The public were asked to name the top five people who they considered to be the greatest Irish man or woman who’s ever lived. The public were then asked to vote online for their favourite Irish person over a 12-day period. From this list the final top five contenders were chosen”.
My greatest Irish person of all time is Arthur Guinness and/or the Duke of Wellington. The Dublin-born Duke changed the course of European history after sorting out the Frogs at Waterloo. That quietened the bastards – until the Henry incident.
Uncle Arthur, meantime, is also involved in the poetry business, liquid poetry. Conor Cruise O’Brien, Ireland’s restless conscience, and Edmund Burke deserve honourable mentions.
Meantime, Dave Fanning will be on the telly on Monday night extolling the virtues of Bono and arguing why he should get the top award. Will Dave ask him about his tax avoidance schemes? Will Michael D Higgins be lining out as quarter-back for the Dallas Cowboys?
Why are RTE being allowed to humiliate us as a nation by soliciting the votes of brain-dead people? The national broadcaster, if they are pursuing ventures of this sort, should leave the matter to a panel of experts in various fields.
Of course, it’s not even an original idea. A few years back the BBC did the same and the Catholic writer Willie Shakespeare finished top of the table. Even the English recognise their heritage, but not Ireland.
In Ireland, a majority believe that Stephen Gately, Louis Walsh, Ronan Keating and Daniel O’Donnell have made a greater contribution to the arts than WB Yeats, Joyce, Shaw, Wilde, Beckett, Synge, and O’Casey, to name but seven.
We may as well pack it in and call in the IMF folks. It’s bad enough being broke, but when we start dumping down on our own culture it’s time to throw in the towel.
Bono, Michael Collins, James Connolly, John Hume, Mary Robinson
Noel Brown, Stephen Gately (Jesus wept), Phil Lynott, Patrick Pearse, Adi Roche
Eamon DeValera, Joe Dolan, (wept) Ronnie Drew, Colin Farrell, Garret Fitzgerald, Bob Geldof, Padriag Harrington, Charles Haughey, Seamus Heabey, James Joyce, John B Keane, Roy Keane, Ronan Keating (talentless), Sean Lemass, Jack Lynch, Paul McGrath, Christy Moore, Liam Neeson, Daniel O’Connell, Daniel O’Donnell, Brian O’Driscoll, Michael O’Leary, John O’Shea (charity), Sonia O’Sullivan, Charles Stewart Parnell, Christy Ring, Wolfe Tone, Louis Walsh (Jesus wept), Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats.