This is a big year for Ireland – the 1916 commemoration is a few weeks away and the country is getting ready to celebrate 100 years of seeking Independence, 100 years of creating a new Ireland, 100 years of forming a new National Identity. And while all around town posters and flags are reminding everyone who walks by that we have a lot to celebrate our government has been dissolved and the politicians seem unwilling to give in to what the voters want – a change in how the State is run.
So when I read that this weeks challenge is about One Love I couldn’t help but think about all of those who sacrificed their lives for the love of their country 100 years ago. Who believed that the Irish had a right to be their own people, be free from oppression and create their own political system. The famous Proclamation declared that the new Ireland would guarantee ‘Religious and Civil Liberty, Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the Happiness and Prosperity of the whole Nation and all of its Parts, Cherishing all of the Children of the Nation equally.’
Ireland today still hasn’t managed to fulfill those noble promises, Equality – repeated throughout the Proclamation – is still not achieved and many in this country are very far away from Happiness and Prosperity.
But even if Ireland is far from perfect, I believe that the people of Ireland still have the same love for their Nation in their hearts that their ancestors did – how couldn’t they? After all Ireland is a great little country whose nation flower is a Shamrock – three hearts grouped together in a hopeful, vivid green.