Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dublin Castle

An image blurring in its menacing secrecy
Cold stone, dripping fresh rain from above - the castle’s sky
With every wash, more filth surfaces.
Rising in this place, as the ascendency.

For, I have always seen it, through the black and white
Of a past page, two words written with a trembling clasp;
Under, the castle is deluged. Deluged with ‘traitors’.
Men who were made to wear the devil’s mask.

Mocked for the wrongs, they thought rights.
Two colours appear different in diverging eyes
The castle. Dublin. Ireland. Éire. A Kingdom of…
Servants, sinners, stones and our helpful spies.

A place of high standing - It touches the sky.
Not piercingly, but as a plague, an infection.
A knife is easily removed, and replaced.
But it seeps, and all are under our subjection

It owns the sky; sky around it, around this island.
Overcast, stalking closer to those people there.
Storms and tumults to evict their warmth
Rains, winds; a bittering, biting, breaking air.

Torture’s echoes captured in this courtyard
Do chill each footfall that is caste
With the chocked last words of scandal
From martyrs now at last de-masked.

~ Garbhán Ó Ruis

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We Saw a Vision

On this day, September 18th, in 1914, the Government of Ireland Act had reached the statute books in Westminster. This act was set to give Ireland Home Rule; something that the Irish politicians and the Irish people had been aiming towards for decades. But, as is natural in Irish history, bad luck has to mock the wishes of the downtrodden Irish (as if Father Time and Mother Éire had had a very difficult divorce. This probably originated in the early Middle Ages when Ireland refused to experience the Dark Ages. )

World War I shook the Home Rule Bill off the table in Westminster. And it would only be back on the table after the conflict had ended.

“Hmmm, lunchtime, maybe? If not, then surely by Christmas?”

Eh, no.

And so, frustrated by this, the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood) met to decide the fate of Irish republicanism. The Easter Rising was the ultimate result of this meeting. In commemoration of the importance of the site (north Parnell Square), the Garden of Remembrance was opened in 1916, on the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. 

For those who gave their lives in the fight for Irish freedom…

Incidentally, also on this day, in 1922, another bill rose to attention. This was the Constitution of Saorstát Éireann Bill, which W. T. Cosgrave (the first Taoiseach/Prime Minister/ President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State) introduced to enable the implementation of the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland.

And its successor is still on the table.

In Dublin, not Westminster.  

Friday, September 14, 2012


Well, it has been the longest time without blogging. Yes, I feel terrible. They say you should blog every day or at least every second day. I feel that such blogging would diminish the quality of my blog posts - though I don't see this one winning any awards.

The life of a tour guide is a very varied and irregular one. Why did I choose it? I like my routines. No, I love my routines; the very few routines that I actually maintain. I have reminders set so that I do my 'daily' to-dos: 'recite poem', 'quotes of the day', 'work, work, work!'.

Truth is, this year has been really good. I mean this work year. I've been relatively busy (is the blog paying off?). I consider myself lucky, even though I did put the work and preparation in. Hey, Napolean used to emphasise the importance of 'mastering luck' in order to achieve his aims. My sister is the lucky one. I stay away from gambling as much as I can, despite my recent success at the dogs at Shelbourne Park. Beginner's luck.

I do, though, find the topic of luck fascinating. So much so that I decided to my philosophy undergraduate thesis on it. Unluckily, (ironically) the topic of 'moral luck' was suggested, and thus the implication that my supervisor would be that most incomprehensible and therefore ridiculously inept professor/teacher/child minder/night light I have ever experienced.

But, hey, if I didn't lose the silicon head of one of my earphones, I wouldn’t be angered enough to feel the need to have a beer at The Gypsy Rose whilst waiting for my bus home. And this blog post would not have existed.

So, thank you bad luck.