We, the Irish public, will be kept indoors until early May at least — wunderbar! The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) warns that even once the entire population is vaccinated, the virus will still be present and rolling lockdowns are likely to continue — Ode to Joy! And why is it that Ireland will remain in lockdown while the rest of the world starts to open up? It is partly because the State still hasn’t imposed mandatory quarantining or closed the national borders.
While demanding that the borders be closed was decried at the outset, a study on behalf of the “All Ireland Infectious Diseases Cohort Study” and the “Irish Coronavirus Sequencing Consortium” have made some interesting claims. They found that the initial lockdown had, by and large, eliminated the virus in Ireland, and that the significant growth in cases came from new variants brought in from travel abroad.
To quote the summary by the Irish Times: “the research addresses for the first time with clear data that the Covid-19 circulating in the second wave came from overseas rather than a resurgence from the first wave.”
This didn’t stop People Before Profit voting against even the most meagre of travel restrictions — the only five votes against the legislation came from Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, Gino Kenny, Paul Murphy, and Bríd Smith. The rump that is the Communist brigade in Ireland showcased their total disdain for the Irish people’s suffering. Just like when they had a wilful ignorance of the entry of foreign fruit pickers for firms registered in the Isle of Man, and their general obliviousness to immigration’s downward pressure on domestic wages.
Despite their supposed raison d’être being to support workers, the Communists contaminating Dáil Éireann are ensuring that independent businesses are forced to remain closed for weeks more. They are in favour of enabling thousands of Brazilians to continue entering the country and roam at will, despite the new supposed Brazillian strain of Covid-19. All the while they cheerlead forcing people to stay docile in their home, and for businesses to remain closed. They care not about the crippling isolation wrought on Irish people, nor the inability to properly grieve for loved ones lost, whether it be in the form of traditional wakes, Masses, burials, or the ceremonial afters.
At the same time as being in what has been described as the strictest lockdown in Europe, Ireland is the furthest away from being able to resume normal life. The State’s expenditure to keep businesses from collapsing under the weight of non-trading is running at a billion euro a month, and once it ends (which it inevitably must) the economy is going to buckle. All those taxes and fees and charges will have to come due sooner or later, one way or another.
Irish people’s tolerance for lockdowns is quickly evaporating. A protest in the city centre yesterday descended into violence as the crowd of those weary of repeated lockdowns and State-level hypocrisies clashed with fresh-faced Gardaí. Thirteen people were charged with public order offences. Yet in the wake of George Nkencho’s death, aggressive ethnic gangs were allowed to accost elderly pedestrians with impunity in Blanchardstown. The hundreds attending a mosque in Dublin also received a free-pass from the supposed Guardians of the Peace. Once must ask what type of peace are they guarding? Peace with sin, or peace with dishonour? Peace for the neoliberal machine and its agitprop leftists?
The State has now taken on so much debt that it won’t have any room for stimulus spending without compromising the State’s fiscal stability. Of course, the costs of borrowing are low now, but things will slip very quickly, especially once the pandemic is considered ‘over’, and once the State allows Irish businesses to fail and die. For why should they care what happens to Irish businesses and Irish livelihoods so long as foreign companies with foreign workers can fill the cash box?
Sinn Féin are no better than their comrades to their left — Mary Lou decries the anti-lockdown protests as “reckless” and “disgraceful scenes.” Where was her condemnation of the gangs in Blanchardstown? Of the BLM protests last summer? There weren’t any.
The pressure cooker that is lockdown may be likened to the rounds of austerity imposed on the Irish people by the Troika in the aftermath of the banking bailouts post-2008. The middle class was tacitly willing to accept Government proposals of a Local Property Tax and a Household Charge. Only once the Water Charge was introduced did the straw break the camel’s back, and the public’s dissatisfaction became a furore on the streets of Dublin. There were convoys of protestors representing their counties and towns, from up and down the country, making their voices heard in the heart of the capital.
The protests broke class ranks and solidarity was expressed throughout the nation. Large portions of the Irish middle class began to identify their condition with that of the working class. That working class who bore the brunt of austerity, and who are currently bearing the brunt of lockdown. The power of that solidarity forced the régime to u-turn, and all those who submissively paid the charges had to be refunded. Despite this embarrassing about-face by the Irish Government, the company Irish Water still exists, their management are still being paid at taxpayer expense, and their water meters are still in place. They plan on charging the public for excess water usage come February 2022.
We certainly live in interesting times — Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael serve in coalition, and Sinn Féin is ever determined to shed its working-class roots in favour of the petit-bourgeois. The Sinn Féin of today cares more about hormone replacement therapy than for socialism or republicanism. The question we must ask ourselves is this: is there light at the end of the tunnel for political nationalists?
As grim as it may be right now — there is hope. The destruction being wrought upon Ireland will do damage to the liberal system which will only become evident in years to come. The system that failed us in 2008 has failed us in 2020 and will continue to fail us in future.
The goal then should be to agitate and organise in your localities and prepare for the Local Elections in 2024, or whatever comes before or after then. Contribute where you can, and be the type of person you’d want everyone in your community to be.
I will leave you with the prescient words of Pádraig Pearse:
And I say to my people’s masters: Beware,
Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people,
Who shall take what ye would not give.
Did ye think to conquer the people,
Or that Law is stronger than life and than men’s desire to be free?
We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held,
Ye that have bullied and bribed, tyrants, hypocrites, liars!