What a horrible, horrible week for the Irish, even for those of us a long way away from the wet and windy isle.
It´s been a shock to the system to see BBC World News, CNN Ingles, CNN Espanol, and even the local Nicaraguan news dominated by the revelation that Ireland is bankrupt and threatening the whole future of the European Union.
To think that a country which people fought for through 800 years of colonisation has been put out of business by our own rotten politicians with their lack of any vision other than sheer greed.
I haven´t missed Ireland at all this year, apart from family and good friends, and now I relly wonder what the hell I am going back to.
For the past three months I´ve lived in the second poorest country in all of the Americas and all I´ve hoped for is some hope for the Nicaraguan people.
They were pillaged by the Spanish, lived for 50 years under an appalling dictator and his family, and when they finally got their freedom they were discarded and neglected by the great Uncle Sam.
I´ve been sickened by the injustice of it all, how the Americans feel like messing around in their own back yard and how some of the American expats treat Nicas like pieces of meat simply because they have far more money than the natives.
But looking at Ireland from this vantage point makes my blood boil even more.
We kicked Farmer Jones (the rotten, racist, tyrranical British Empire) out of the farm in order to be ruled by pigs (there is no more apt way to describe them) of our own. The names of Haughey, Ahern, and Cowen will be remembered as the disgraced, greedy b''stards who filled their own pockets while allowing the country to drift down the drain.
The party was all too short and all too insane.
I come from a land with a troubled past, which gives me a bit more understanding than most Europeans I think, and that´s why Irish people seem to be hugely welcomed (and loved) in troubled lands like Palestine and Cambodia. We have big hearts and root for the underdogs, thanks to our own f''ked up history.
And we have a tendency to feel sorry for ourselves, and for other underdogs in the world, because 800 years of being treated as second class citizens, robbed of your language and the right to vote, can do untold damage to your self esteem.
And that was something we thought we got back in the so called Celtic Tiger years, when young Irish people were not forced to emigrate for a better life.
All through the 19th century, and the 1950s and 1980s, we lost generations of good people who were spat out by our British masters or our own so called leaders who didn´t have enough imagination to turn our fortunes around.
And then when they got a chance, they went into a frenzy of greed. Which is why one Galway TD owns more than 20 houses or our former Taoiseach, Ahern, urged the doubters to kill themselves just a few years ago.
We deluded ourselves into thinking the days of seeing thousands of Irish men lining either side of the Kilburn High Road, in search of any labouring jobs going, were dead and buried.
Or the way we brushed real, painful Irish stories such as the arrival in Ellis Island, the building of the Panama railway, or the poverty of Hell´s Kitchen or South Boston under the carpet, because those stories were too painful to acknowledge.
Well, so much for the SUVs in Salthill and the pads in Marbella, the party is over and the hangover is all our own fault after we elected some of the most incompetent politicians in Europe.
We let bankers, politicians, and auctioneers (amazing how many Irish politicians are auctioneers too) drive us into a frenzy.
Here in Granada, there are five resident Irish, seven if you count myself and Fidelma, the two La Esperanza Granada volunteers who are here for just a few months.
Well, we all found ourselves gravitating towards O´Shea´s Irish bar in shock midweek, wanting to share our despair over the news from home.
In their own way, the resident Irish sum up a land which has continued to reject its own people down through the years.
The three older lads (Tommie, Billy, and Jimmy) are all from a generation who were forced into exile, choosing the United States before moving on to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Gerry, who is my age, came and bought a beautiful colonial house after being made reduntant two and a half years ago. And Fidelma is a teacher in her 30s who, despite her training and experience, can´t get a job back home.
Thanks, Ireland, for letting them all down.
But right now I think they are all wise to have left the sinking ship, even if they live in a country as poor as Nicaragua.
Economically, the revolution here, just as justified as Ireland´s uprising against the British, has not led to a huge change in the nation´s fortunes. People are still extremely poor.
But at least they haven´t been sold out by pigs of their own.
And that´s the most galling thing.
In Nicaragua, these lovely people are crying out for hope, and a chance of a real change in fortunes.
Ireland had its chance, but it was blown by greed.
And, suddenly, I´m embarrassed to be Irish. When I meet travellers from Sweden, Holland, or France now they want to talk about how messed up the economy of my country is.
For just a few years, we had national pride. We could backpack through Thailand or Spain and stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of them, confident in our own land.
Well, not any more. We´ve been pushed to the brink and it´s about time the FF and Green bastards gave the people democracy and stepped down.
Sorry for not writing about Nicaragua this week, but it´s hard to enjoy my weekend away in the beautiful city of Leon when there is so much worry about the mess at home.
Our Students’ Desires
1 week ago