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Can Michael D. reclaim our republic?

Letter to the Galway Independent

Dear Editor,
What sort of President for the Aras next month? As things stand at present, a positive Houdini will be needed to slide, slip, clip or break through the tangles of gombeen opportunism and complacency that have, little-by-little, caught Ireland in a stranglehold.

Our Constitution purports to promote the common good; instead we are reduced to bankruptcy and our sovereignty taken away. Can Michael D. Higgins reclaim our republic? If he cannot, nobody can. Ever since his days as a lecturer at NUIG, he has analysed and railed against gombeenism, but the deadweight of conservatism among elements of the Labour Party frequently choked his efforts. As President, however, he would discover a new freedom.

What might he do with it? He has already voiced alarm at the two most noxious ligatures wrapped around the nation’s neck: the droves of US warplanes trespassing at Shannon and the neo-colonial gas pipers and their security thugs who infest Erris. Both are only there because successive governments winked at breaches of the law and defiance of the Constitution.

Washington actually asked, in secret, a few years ago, “shall we move our troops out of Shannon?” and Dublin was forced in secret to reply, “please don’t!” For otherwise the people might have noticed that no military alliance had been agreed by the Oireachtas to justify collusion with the Afghan/Iraqi wars.

And, as for Erris, the Corrib Gas projectors have confronted the planning authorities with one mendacious application after another – a gas terminal, for instance, built in the middle of nowhere without an access-pipe and given permission all on its own, in that strangely incomplete condition. How can the planners refuse assent to a pipeline when the builders eventually demand it?

But could Michael D. in the Aras deal with these foul matters? The Presidency, they say, is a job of mere prestige with no power to change anything. And yet it isn’t. The President must swear to maintain the Constitution and uphold its laws. There is a Council of State to help pursue this goal. Seven members of the council are to be chosen by the President. What is to stop the President choosing persons fully acquainted and fully experienced with the detailed offences at Erris and Shannon, who could lay the reality in front of the rest of the council in time to put a stop to the unconstitutional criminality even at this late stage? And Michael D is the only candidate with the discernment, the passion and the guts to pull it off.

Yours etc,
Margaretta D’Arcy
Donnacha Ó Faoláin
Sinéad Ó Faoláin
Fred Johnston
Mary Ellen Fern
Laurie Walsh
Angela Byrne
Áine Ní Chochláin
Joan Lally
Máirín Mhic Lochlainn

Posted Date: 
9 September 2011