Anyone can be angry!



Angry with the Government? What are you going to do about it?

Anyone can become angry, that is easy, But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not easy.


A step too far?

I’ve noticed a lot of anger lately. This has been highlighted in two incidents over the past week, firstly, when Cllr Louise Minihan threw red paint over Minister for Health Mary Harney, at the site of the new Ballyfermot Primary Care and Mental Health Centre  and secondly yesterday’s violent  student protests at Government Buildings which were stormed like the Bastille during the French Revolution.

The anger of this nation has been mounting for a long time now. The cracks were possibly hidden to some degree by the excesses of the celtic tiger times. People threw their eyes up to heaven and shrugged “sher that’s the government for you” as they went about their busy lives. Those shrugs became more agitated as life grew more and more difficult for people living in Ireland. Cutback after cutback, job losses, lengthening dole queues, negative equity, more job losses, emigration and desperation became the talk on the streets. The anger was not subdued by tokenism and sound bites issued by politicians more keen to be seen to be doing something rather than actually doing anything, more keen to talk than to walk as it were.

So the anger grew and it grew.

Undoubtedly influenced by the Greek and French protests it was possibly only a matter of time  before things started to turn ugly. The nasty turn of events began when the Dail resumed following its summer break and a man drove a cement truck into the gates at Leinster House with the words Anglo Toxic Bank written across the side, making headlands nationally and internationally.

We were angry and the whole world knew about it.

Personally though, I would like to see this anger used in a more constructive way. I deplore Cllr Louise Minihan’s actions and find those kind of tactics underhand, unsafe and disgustingly reflective of someone who seems to think you can blame one person for the state of a health service that was rotten long before Mary Harney took the poisoned chalice.

We live in a democratic country and therefore I do not question the right to protest. I am simply questioning the means and the violence.

Student protests which saw three Gardai in hospital, Is this a something we will see more of?

I too am angry. I’m angry that people died so that we could live in a democracy that has been tainted by the acts of some politicians. That it is a democracy which sometimes feels like a dictatorship. I’m angry that the reputation of my country is being ruined abroad. I’m angry at the lack of common sense exhibited by our leaders. I’m angry that Bertie Ahern still jokes “ The country was fine when I left office”.  That he thinks it’s ok to film a promotional add for his “Sports” Column showing him in a kitchen cupboard yet still has the audacity to leave his name be associated a potential presidential election.

Mostly I am angry because this recession and the political situation we find ourselves in is far more serious than people seem to realise and yet, action is still being replaced by stalling tactics and opposition politicians shouting “ I told you so” with their point scoring. I’m angry with the rhetoric of empty promises because really, until reform happens, it won’t matter who is sitting in government buildings.

Last year I wrote a letter entitled The year of Hope in which I called for political reform and the reform of our public bodies most notably the HSE.  I truly believed that our country had hit rock bottom and that the time was ripe for this reform. I was even excited by the prospect of a country where the challenging times had resulted in an overhaul of our institutions. That perhaps somewhere along this line we would rediscover our soul and become known once more for our thinkers, writers, artists and musicians rather than dodgy bankers, politicians bonds and NAMA!

I’m angry that we are not using our collective anger in a constructive means to reform our political institutions. As Aristotle said, anyone can be angry,

Are you? And if so, how will you use this anger?

Doreen O’ Mahony,

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