As the brilliant documentary “Older than the Ireland” so vividly illustrated, 100 years is not a long time.
It does, however, highlight how action taken today can significantly impact the Ireland of 2116.
I for one think we need to seriously adjust the trajectory.
Heartened and inspired by the leadership evidenced in the stories shared at Tangible Ireland’s Ambassador Summer School – 48 hours later I was faced with the critical need for a seismic shift in the expectations of the citizens of this island.
The state of Dublin is a disgrace.
We’ve invited the world to share in our commemoration, to witness our progress and experience our energy.
I joined an American tourist, spouse of a convention goer, who had no intimate knowledge of the Irish or Ireland. And I was deeply ashamed.
Navigating the streets, even outside the GPO is near impossible. Construction, broken pavements and crowds of pedestrians detoured around significant destinations, were confused, huddling over maps and tripping on obstacles.
Public transport is rerouted, the place looks dirty and disheveled.
It was a bit like being invited to a wedding when halfway down the aisle the bridal party decided that a change of hair, makeup and dresses was in order. And then they changed right there.
Let this serve as a call to action: We’re better than this!
Our emigrants have built cities all over the world. The children of this island have gone on to impact excellence in military, political, business and civic leadership all over the world. And we tolerate less than mediocrity here. I propose that we proclaim that:
The days of “whatever you say, say nothing” are over.
The days of “ah, sure they’ve got the run of themselves” are over.
The days of “sure, it’s grand, besides, you’ll never change it” are over.
Take action. Use digital media to bring examples of the unacceptable to light. Deficits in the delivery of public services, entitlement programs and long term planning can be brought to the attention of us all. Use the airwaves and Twitter-sphere to highlight failures and abuses of systems. Hold the names- just tell us what ought to be and is not. Use the hashtag #BetterThanThis. If #Shameful suits, use that too.
We’ll amplify each other’s frustrations, research and post the wisdom and experience of those who have overcome similar challenges and together we can bring the ideals of the founders to fruition in this our second century.
Alternatively, use and follow #PositiveIreland for the good news stories.
Let no one less than Charles Stewart Parnell inspire the call to action.
“We have never attempted to fix the ne plus ultra to the progress
of Ireland’s nationhood and we never shall.”