Remember Kevin Sheahan, the Limerick county councillor who got himself into hot water last year with his remarks on immigrants? Kevin, in true FF style with an eye to securing the votes of the very thickest in his West Limerick constituency, came up with a headline-grabbing statement about immigrants receiving priority over Irish people in housing lists.
No foreigners need apply.
Kevin’s Ballymagash-style bluster was praised by members of the racist, white-supremacist Stormfront website, but such minor considerations never deterred backwoods councillors. He got his column-inches, he got his soundbites and that was that. Job done. Like all well-honed parochial political hacks, Kevin understands that people only remember the row, never the rational responses to the nonsense they dream up.
That was then and this is now, but Kevin’s dream goes on forever. With the amalgamation of Limerick city and county, Sheahan somehow managed to grab the role of Chairman, and he came up with a new plan that excludes not only foreigners but quite a number of Irish citizens as well. In Kevin Sheahan’s view, this is what he calls a Christian country, and that’s why he has commissioned a crucifix — a specifically Catholic emblem — to be installed in the Council chamber.
I have great devotion to the Cross, said Kevin. This Christian symbol in a Christian country will be erected there, that’s my intention.
No Irish need apply, it seems, unless they come within the definition of what it is to be a valid citizen, as laid down by Blessed Kevin of the Cross.
I personally don’t qualify, for instance, even though I was born and bred in this country, as were all of my antecedents as far back as I can trace. Neither does any other atheist or agnostic. Protestants don’t qualify as Irish citizens under Kevin’s criterion. Neither do Jews, nor Muslims, nor Hindus, but we still don’t know what position Blessed Kevin takes on yoga.
Still, that’s quite a significant number of people Kevin Sheahan doesn’t think deserve to be represented by the local council they recently voted for. You’d have to wonder where this is going. Will people be asked about their religious beliefs before being considered for inclusion in the council’s housing list? Going on Kevin’s previous utterances, that would seem to be the logical next step.
How about emergency medical treatment? Do I deserve that, even though I don’t follow the one true cross like Blessed Kevin?
Where have we heard this sort of talk before? Let me think now …