Election Day.

Today, Ireland votes.

It has been a long winter.

There have days when I genuinely feared that the rain would never stop. I have, in my mind’s eye, seen a tsunami rising from the river valley towards my house. I have wondered at what point I should pile the children into the car and drive away. How long should I wait? Until our  property is at risk? Until our lives are in danger?

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I have wondered if the government has a secret Ark on standby in Baldonnel.

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An overwhelming majority of my college contemporaries have emigrated.

Come Summer, we will be inundated with visits from  old friends. Some we see once a year, regular as The Rose Of Tralee, others once a decade.

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They sit at our kitchen table and we share ‘where are they now?’ stories. We compare life in Ireland with life somewhere else – climate, food, schools, the cost of orthodontics, the availability of good coffee.

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They all agree that some things are still better in Ireland than anywhere else: The butter for instance. And yet, they all look at us with eyes that say, ‘Why are you still here?’.

We ask ourselves the same question.

In fact, we left for three years and we came back. My Italian-born son endlessly bemoans our decision. My daughter, who seriously resents having to study the Irish language, joins his chorus.

‘Why did you come back?’ they lament, ‘why are you still here?’

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BECAUSE:

I don’t want to start again. Again.

I had an unsettled and nomadic childhood. My mother paid the bills by buying near-derelict, feck that, derelict houses, renovating them and selling them on at a profit. We lived in each house just long enough to get a kitchen fitted.

We never painted the same wall twice.

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I want to see the floorboards wear down.  I want to watch the trees grow old. I want roots.

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Because I am Irish and this feels right. This is the jigsaw I fit into.

Because I was raised by proud republicans and I want my children to be Irish.

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BUT:

I want  to be proud that I live here, not defensive.

I want smart people to feel they can achieve their full potential here and be rewarded for doing so.

I want a country with a few smart people left in it to teach my children, to inspire them, to doctor them, to fix their teeth.

I don’t want to feel that staying in Ireland is somehow choosing a smaller life.

Is there a polling station anywhere in the country where I can vote for that?

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Rant over.

 

 

23 thoughts on “Election Day.

  1. What a thoughtful post Lynda. I wish the same for you. I’ve never been to Ireland but LOOONG to someday. I am not familiar with the conditions, but I love your passion for your homeland and roots and wanting to give that to your children. Best to you and yours!

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  2. As an armed-forces-child I agree with your Becauses; as a mother I empathise with your Buts. Why is there never a party/politician who ticks all the boxes? I’m woefully ignorant about the political situation in Ireland but I wish your country a strong, confident, outward-looking, inclusive and inspiring future.

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  3. It’s funny how things always seem better somewhere else! I look at your beautiful posts and everything looks so green and peaceful. You felt instantly like a friend to me because you have such a strong sense of what is important and such a fun way of sharing it. I live in the US, and in a smallish city, and everything here still moves and changes too quickly for me. We all just keep finding ways of finding peace where we are!
    Melanie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good rant. Very very good rant. Ireland is a beauteous place and she deserves to rise again. But stronger, never again able to be pushed over by the actions of the greedy down the line. Ireland and the Irish deserve that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a woman obsessed with elections at the moment …. we have the Irish election affecting many friends in your vacinity, we have the poll in the UK affecting others and we are living in the land of clowns and nutters who seem to be wholly unelectable but one of them will be ….

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  5. Ireland sounds like a beautiful place, one that most people dream of visiting. You have made it sound even more appealing! I like the roots you are providing for your kids! My kids moved all over as well and we are in a tiny town, not much shopping for clothing etc.lots of tractors and barns and I feel it is home! Finally! Wonderful post!

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  6. Nothing wrong with being happy with where you live….that’s the wonderful thing about everyone being different, we all don’t want the same thing, or to live in the same place…there are places in the world I would never dream of living…but others love it and wouldn’t never leave….I feel as long as your happy, well cared for, good schools, doctors, etcs….then its all up the to individuals….I was happy in California, but just as happy here….just wish my kids lived closer…LOL I think you live in beautiful part of the world, we all dream of the green mountains, the oceans….yes it rains a lot there….however it gets oven hot here for several months in the year…we all have cons to our pros….love the sunset pictures and what were you starting??? looks like your going to have one big garden…LOL

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    1. I needed to write another paragraph about how much I love this country. When the sun shines, there is nowhere more beautiful. It’s just sad that so many of our best and brightest are compelled to leave.
      No-one leaves because of the rain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I grew up in the rain forest in the Olympic National Park in Washington State….one of the most beautiful places on earth…nothing like walking on the beach in rain…so cleansing, and the multiple shades of green…and the smell of freshness after a good rain….I love the rain….the only reason we are in the desert is for my husbands lungs….I am just making the best of where I am…LOL and I would love to read a story about your love of Ireland….I know its one of the most beautiful places on earth..its on my bucket list to visit…I fly over it on my way to London, what a green island…I remember asking the flight attendant where is that, as I pointed out the window, she said that’s Dublin……amazing…..kat

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  7. Home is where your heart is! (Isn’t that how the saying goes?) No country is perfect…we all have our political woes (which is especially visible during election campaigns) but we have to make the best of where we personally are – no politician can make us happy – it has to be internal! You have found it in your little niche of the world 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  8. I enjoyed that. It’s not just a rant but a common shared sentiment of many who left Ireland but do wish to return some day. As my mother sternly told the local TD recently she ‘didn’t raise 5 children for them to emigrate, what are you doing to bring them home?’ Soon hopefully!!

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