US President Donald Trump to set up European HQ in Ireland

Donald J Trump has accepted an invitation from Enda Kenny to visit our country in his capacity as president of the USA, as opposed to simply being some random boorish clown who happens to own a golf club.

I know. It’s dispiriting, but what are we to do about it?

Actually, the answer is surprisingly simple. We should show Trump’s office the sort of respect he himself doesn’t understand. We should show him the kind of dignity he has no experience of. We should demonstrate to Trump what it means to be a fully-functioning human being.

In other words, we should greet him as we would greet the leader of any foreign country. Needless to mention, that doesn’t include green-clad maidens playing harps at the steps of his plane nor any government minister dancing attendance, as Michael Noonan embarrassingly did long before Trump’s handlers managed to hijack the White House, when he was still just a two-bit hustler working with a big bag of roubles.

No. We should greet the Leader of the Redneck World with a multicultural musical ensemble as he descends from Airforce Wad. We should invite the leaders of all major denominations to greet him. Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim.

We should invite the children of immigrants and of those who fled from oppression to present him with flowers. Syrian children. Libyan children. Afghan children. Iranian children.

Welcome, Mr President.

Of course, if we’re to have any credibility, we’ll have to do something about our appalling Direct Provision system, our unique Irish gulag archipelago capable of swallowing up entire families for decades, depriving them of normal human existence, refusing them even the possibility of preparing a family meal together. And we’ll have to do something about those appointed to hear appeals from the residents of the Direct Provision camps. Some of those highly-respected professionals have never granted one solitary appeal, despite being paid large amounts of money to sit in judgement over desperate people. What are the chances that not even one application has any merit?

Well, them’s the breaks, as they say. Tough.

But never mind any of that. This is modern Ireland and nothing like the old days, when remote authoritarians sat in judgement over unmarried mothers and jailed children convicted of being orphans.  Ignoring the plight of children confined to Direct Provision camps is nothing like ignoring the children locked up in industrial schools or the women locked up in Magdalene Laundries. These days, we lock them all up together and eventually, when the children become thoroughly Irish, become fluent Irish speakers in school, with no connection whatever to their parents’ home place, we send the whole lot of them back to Africa.

We’re good like that in this land of missionaries. We’re really great.

Of course, Enda made a big pitch to the Oompaloompa-in-Chief about Irish illegals in the USA. And yes, they are illegal, not undocumented. And yes, it would be great if they could all get green cards. And yes, I’m all in favour of it.

But why do we think there’s something special about us as Irish? Why do we always reach for the fool’s pardon? Why do we participate in this annual festival of paddywhackery with the likes of Paul Ryan slurping a badly-poured Guinness and Trump slurring his way through a Nigerian poem, thinking it’s an Irish proverb?

Why do we acquiesce with such bullshit instead of having some dignity? Why do we roll over and let our bellies be tickled?

The latest we hear is that Trump is going to base his European headquarters in Ireland and some of us wonder what it all means.

After all, Trump is the President of the USA. He has one HQ and that’s in Washington. The USA does not have a European headquarters and yet the Irish papers slavishly reported this nonsense as fact.

What’s the alternative? Simple: Trump, in violation of US statute, continues to operate independent business interests across the globe and proposes to set up an illegal offshore operation here in Ireland to evade Federal law.

Isn’t that what it amounts to? Will we facilitate Trump to engage in activity that would be illegal in the USA?

Is that in our long-term interests?

Never mind growing a pair. Isn’t about time we grew a brain and realised that this man is determined to destroy the European Union if he can? Isn’t it about time we realised where our long-term interests lie and isn’t it about time we stopped sending our Prime Minister to the White House for Saint Patrick’s Day like some performing monkey for the enjoyment of Irish-Americans who are less Irish than my cat?

Religion Society

Happy Maewyn Succat’s Day

It’s the 17th of March again.   Feast day of our national saint, Maewyn Succat, a Welsh kidnap victim forced to tend sheep on the side of a cold, wet Irish mountain for six years, where he went mad, living on a diet of magic mushrooms and snake-meat, which he came to detest.

Saint Patrick selfie

He began to hear voices and eventually ran away from the mountain where he had been enslaved.  He walked two hundred miles, appropriately enough for a man who would later become a Proclaimer, until eventually he found a ship and persuaded the sailors to take him with them, but the Lord wasn’t finished with him yet.  And so they ended up in France, or Gaul as it might have been at that time, a land full of people called Vercingetorix, Ambiorix and of course, Obelix and Asterix.

The starving sailors taunted him.  How come your prayers aren’t working now, young Christian?

Why don’t you go pray yourself? retorted Maewyn, or something very similar.  And when they did, look what happened.  A herd of pigs appeared on the road, which they immediately slaughtered and ate.  Maewyn put this down to prayer, thus falling victim to two logical fallacies: that correlation equals causation, and confirmation bias, but you could hardly expect much more from an untutored, paranoid-schizophrenic sheep-herd.

Eventually, thanks to a belly-full of pig meat, Maewyn made it home to his father, Calpurnius, in Wales but the paranoid delusions continued, not helped by his study of theology.  One night he imagined a man called Victoricus giving him a letter from the Irish people and then he heard voices begging him to come back.  These days, of course, Maewyn would be sectioned for his own safety, but back then, the pseudoscience of psychiatry hadn’t even been dreamed of, and so he decided to return to Ireland, even when his family pleaded with him to stay.

I’ll pay for stronger meds, his father said.

I know a faith-healer, his mother told him.

You’re one mad bastard, his brother Emlyn said.  Pint before you head off?

Why not? replied Maewyn, so the two brothers headed for the local tavern for an old chin-wag before he boarded his ship for Ireland.

Have you got your ticket? Emlyn said.

It’s here in the secret pocket sewn into the seat of my hempen drawers.

Your passport?

They’re not invented yet.

Oh yeah.

Are you buying or what?  Mine’s a tankard of mead.

And so it was that Maewyn embarked for Ireland with a massive hangover,  a hatred of reptiles and a belief that Ireland was the edge of the Earth, since his God, though all-powerful, wasn’t great at geography.

At some point in his ramblings around Ireland, Maewyn morphed into Patricius, perhaps because the local dignitaries would be more impressed by a posh Roman than some unshaven, unwashed Welsh git.  He gave up the drink and the psychoactive drugs, though the damage was already done, since Patricius retained the delusion of grandeur that made him think of the Irish as barbarians because they didn’t share his insane religious beliefs.  But like any madmen, from Ian Paisley to David Koresh, it wasn’t long before he built up a following, much as the various wandering magicians on the shores of Galilee had done four hundred years previously.   In a time of superstition, when people would happily believe any old nonsense, Patricius’s message seemed slightly less mad than the rest of the rubbish people were expected to swallow.

These days, Saint Maewyn is mainly known for destroying the Irish eco-system by wiping out a vital component, but he has many other achievements to his credit.

Maewyn / Patricius predicted many things, including the formation of the New York Police Department, the New York Fire Department and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

He founded the Iona Institute, the GAA, Youth Defence, Human Life International and the Knights of Columbanus.

He correctly predicted the births of David Quinn, Sting, Breda O’Brien, Diana Ross, Eamon deValera, Kanye West, Strongbow and the Queen of Sheba.

He named many winners at Chepstow, invented General Relativity and found a way to adjust the gears of a ten-speed bicycle without going insane.

He wrote the Book of Love.

He built the world’s first practical mousetrap.

He designed the astronomical telescope, the sextant and the theodolite.

He invented LSD.

He played in goal for Algiers.

His Shamrock Soup recipe, a favourite in Irish households for a thousand years, was the only thing that kept us alive during the Famine.

Love him or loathe him, Maewyn was a man of many parts.

No wonder the New York parade’s slogan is Succat and See.






History Tradition

The Eve of St Patrick

Tonight it is when ghouls and goblins joust in the crepuscular half-light as the numina of land and air dance their ageless intertwining.   Tonight it is when the leipreachán and the bean-sídhe take their true forms, when the cú-sidhe and the cait-sidhe chase each other from dún to lios to rath and when the ancient heroes of our dawn bestir themselves, shake their mantles, heft their broadswords and wonder if their time is come at last.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the mighty battle in which Saint Patrick slew Saint Pancake so that overweight children the length and breadth of Éireann could march in the freezing cold, and so that aspiring young models could paint themselves orange and sit on top of a moving car holding a bunch of balloons.

Saint Patrick, as he waved his mighty weapon, bellowed God Bless America!

Legend tells that Saint Pancake replied with a roar: Shake hands with your uncle Dan.

For four long years, the two heroes fought, from the mountains of Mourne to the Vale of Avoca and from the Banks of my own lovely Lee to the Homes of Donegal.  They battled from the stone outside Dan Murphy’s door to the Garden Where the Praties Grow.

When at length the warriors grew weary, they watched for a while as the sun went down on Galway Bay before taking up arms again and having at it.

The battle was so fierce that the very sea itself recoiled in fear and the clouds fled from the sky.

Here’s a health to you, Father O’Flynn!! shouted Saint Pancake.

I’ll take you home again Kathleen, responded Saint Patrick.

Three long weeks I spent up in Dublin, said Saint Pancake.

Three long weeks to learn nothing at all, replied Saint Patrick with a sneer.  Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen.

And with that, he plunged his sword into Saint Pancake’s heart.

They say that Saint Pancake’s dying words were I like to ramble down the old boreen, but some say this is only a legend and that his last words were When Irish eyes are smiling, sure, ’tis like the morn in Spring.

Either way, one thing is certain.   That was the day when Saint Patrick won freedom for very old Americans to walk down the middle of Irish streets waving at the natives.  On that day, alarm companies the world over won the right to drive their trucks in convoy, very slowly, for people to look at.

A great day for Ireland.