Current Affairs Politics

From The People Who Brought You The IMF And The ECB – President Gallagher

Well, we’re in the final stretch of the race for Áras in Uachtaráin and it is claimed that the great Irish public, or at least a sizeable minority of it, may have decided to plump for the “Independent” candidate Seán Gallagher. No amount of revelations about his decades old allegiance to Fianna Fáil, his receipt of government largesse through investments in his companies or membership of cushy quango boards, his less than inspiring business record, his somewhat unorthodox accounting methods, his unapologetic loyalty to the Anglo-American form of exploitative capitalism and cultural narcissism that all but destroyed our nation, indeed his contempt for the history of our nation full stop with his wish to dump our national anthem born of a democratic Revolution, none of these things will deter those eager to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Will this report from today’s Irish Independent outlining Gallagher’s career in the political party that sold away the sovereign independence of our Republic, carry any weight? Or are we really, as a people, so far gone that we are beyond even saving ourselves?

“In a newly obtained letter, Mr Gallagher instead gave countless examples of his work for Fianna Fail at the highest levels.

“I have a long record of involvement and commitment to Fianna Fail over the past 30 years,” he said.

The two-page letter, complete with Mr Gallagher’s personal mobile number and email address, was sent just two years ago to the heads of Fianna Fail branches (cumainn) in Louth. At the time, Mr Gallagher was seeking their votes ahead of the party’s Ard Fheis that year to get elected on to the party’s national executive as one of the Louth representatives.

Mr Gallagher pointed out his service with former Health Minister Rory O’Hanlon as a full-time political secretary and his work with Charlie Haughey.

In his letter, Mr Gallagher also wrote freely about his fund-raising work for Fianna Fail.

“I later worked full time for the party in Fianna Fail headquarters, supporting members like yourself in raising much needed funds for the work of the party,” he said.

Last week, Mr Gallagher admitted he had invited guests to a secret corporate Fianna Fail fundraiser attended by then Taoiseach Brian Cowen in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk in 2008 — but strongly denied that he had asked them for any money.

In his letter Mr Gallagher talked about his role in helping Fianna Fail’s Seamus Kirk retain his seat in the 2007 general election by acting as his director of elections.”

I’ve highlighted much of this before and in detail, has have many others, but one fears that the message isn’t getting through. It may be a cliché but it is one that applies here: “If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem”. Seán Gallagher, and the party and organisation he was associated with for decades, were not just part of the problem – they were the problem. He, and they, are most assuredly not part of any solution we need to find.

A vote for Gallagher is a retrospective mandate for those who brought us the excesses of the Celtic Tiger years, those who poisoned and disfigured the moral and cultural soul of our nation. This isn’t just about a seven-year term for a president. This is about how we view ourselves as a people and how we wish to go forward into the future. To vote for Seán Gallagher is to take a step back into a past that we wish to leave behind, an era that fed on the worse impulses in men and women and not the best, an era that transformed us from an Irish nation into a crude American and British clone. Urged on by an establishment elite we abandoned our own sense of ourselves and took upon us a distorted image of Ireland and Irishness derived from the views of others. We defined what we were not by our own history, or culture or language, but by what we saw on British and American television shows, read in British and American newspapers and magazines, and what we imagined they wanted us to be.

We became the wage-slaves of others, of international corporations and an unregulated global market. Our indigenous businesses, our indigenous entrepreneurs, were abandoned in the beggarly pursuance of their foreign counterparts lured here by glorified bribes. We kowtowed to their every wish and whim and in the process became their prisoners, as our own people were rendered nothing more than tradable commodities, assets and numbers on a balance sheet.

That is the Ireland we created in the Celtic Tiger age, and that is why, when we ran out of barterable means, or others offered greater prizes than we could compete with, the international businesses we enrichened by coming here abandoned us with such alacrity and ease. Cosseted corruption at the top, cosseted corruption in the middle, while those at the lowest paid for all of it.

If you think of Seán Gallagher think of the IMF, think of the ECB. Think of voodoo economics and property busts, think of ghost estates and boarded-up shop windows. Think of factory closures and crying parents and their offspring in our airports. Think of motorways through Tara, or demolished monuments in Moore Street. Think of crippling taxes and slashed budgets. Think of young men taking their lives and young mothers seeking refuge in hostels away from broken partners. Think of rising crime, rising alcoholism, a rising black tide of despair that seems ready to engulf us all.

Then remember. Remember those who brought us to this place. And then go out and cast your vote.

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