ANNE GILDEA

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - REAL LIFE - Anne.gildea@mailon­sun­day.ie

ma­jor cause of your exit, you em­ploy phys­i­cal force to en­sure that they all sit on a na­tion­ally des­ig­nated ‘naughty step’, while you par­take of Guin­ness and oys­ters to help the dead econ­omy. Wel­come to the Seafood and Blame Fes­ti­val.

Steal a bag of food, get caught and you’ll be look­ing at a stint in the slam­mer. But suck up € 30 bil­lion from the na­tion state un­der false pre­tences... and noth­ing. And then there was Enda in the Dáil, giv­ing out about the im­pli­ca­tions of the tapes, with all the in­dig­na­tion of a rant­ing punter in a pub. And you think, ‘Hang on, you’re the flip­ping leader here; we don’t need

Ex­actly two years ago to­day I was di­ag­nosed with can­cer. I thought I was dead. Patently I’m not. I’m still here

plat­i­tudes of anger from you — we need ac­tion, baby. Surely noth­ing re­vealed on those tapes was a sur­prise to you, an in­sider in the machi­na­tions of how this sick state op­er­ates?’

Oth­er­wise, to put it in an­gry kinder­garten speak: It not fair! No one held to ac­count. Oh, it’s too com­pli­cated to pin­point the wrong­do­ing, legally. Oh, it’ll take years — — be­fore any­one ends up in­side for maybe five min­utes. Oh, you can only con­clude, in mo­ments of sheer rag­ing anger at all that has hap­pened, we’re liv­ing in not just a mon­e­tar­ily but morally bank­rupt cesspit, and the only way to not sink is to learn to pull what­ever strokes you can your­self. It’s time to re­write the an­them: ‘Mé féin amháin, atá ag gáire faoi Éirinn...’.

And then, what about this: no come­up­pances for the above — but re­gard Sec­tion 22 of the pro­posed new ‘abor­tion bill’, to ‘in­ten­tion­ally de­stroy un­born hu­man life’, even in the very early stages of preg­nancy, is an of­fence for which a woman is li­able to im­pris­on­ment for ‘a term not ex­ceed­ing 14 years’. Be­cause while pun­ish­ing the main play­ers in the coun­try’s col­lapse may be es­sen­tial, it’s em­bar­rass­ing, so let’s fo­cus in­stead on State in­volve­ment in the in­ti­mate bod­ies of the fe­male pop­u­la­tion. And on the per­sonal con­sciences of a mi­nor­ity in this coun­try who must be as­suaged with a sense that the reach of Ir­ish law goes right into the in­di­vid­ual wombs of ev­ery sin­gle fecund woman in this coun­try.

Oh, I sup­pose since this state can no longer coun­te­nance the ex­is­tence of the likes of the Mag­da­lene Laun­dries to con­trol the fer­til­ity of the Ir­ish fe­male, the ould threat of a heavy prison sen­tence is al­most as good a stick to beat the Ir­ish woman when she’s fac­ing that most trau­matic per­sonal dilemma a pri­vate in­di­vid­ual may have — a cri­sis preg­nancy.

By ge­nie, the ‘God knows we’re right’ bri­gade want a say in her pri­vate life, and she’ll be hav­ing that baby for Ire­land, to be raised for em­i­gra­tion, in this broke state where the main chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal in Crum­lin is like some­thing out of Dick­ens, and if you’re talk­ing crèche care or spe­cial needs, you also need to be think­ing ‘ha, ha, ha’. And God for­bid that is­sues such as autism come into play be­cause ha, ha, ha again, there’s no money for so es­o­teric a prob­lem.

And then… no, stop. Here’s a pos­i­tive thing. Ex­actly two years ago to­day I was di­ag­nosed with can­cer. I thought I was dead; patently I’m not. Nope. Lucky me, still here, and still rag­ing. OM.

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