Wolfe Tone declared that f the men of property wouldn’t lead a campaign for justice that the struggle should be led by “that large and respectable class – the men of no property.”
It seems that today an appeal has been made, if not to a class of men of no principle, at least to a class willing to set aside its principles in order to jump onto a bandwagon, or even into a handcart.
In the Irish Times Dail Sketch (December 17) Miriam Lord, who normally appreciates irony, gives a sympathetic account of John Halligan’s appeal to fellow TDs to “put aside our morals,our emotions and adopt an evidence-based approached to this debate” (on abortion).
Apparently, the emotionless Deputy, is saying – “To Hell with Morals – Do the Right Thing!”.
The sketch writer sees humour in the dark-suited men in the Dail looking down at their shoes. I’m relieved to learn that in December male legislators wear dark suits for their day jobs. What did she expect – pink Basques?
In another column the Oireachtas Report quotes at length a tear-jerking account by Deputy Halligan of a pregnant woman flying to London for an abortion and being taken by minibus with eight other women, “.”vomiting and weeping” to the abortion site. “Believe me it is not the procedure that does the psychological damage to them, all the indications are that it is the fact of having to make the journey on their own that does so.”
They are so lucky, they travel by air, not on the old mailboat or the old Liverpool boat. Their luggage isn’t opened by customs when they are bleary-eyed.
They don’t travel in crowded unheated trains from Holyhead to London. And they don’t have to endure the homesickness of generations of emigrants.
Apparently Mr Halligan’s complaint might be rendered in Latin – DE MINIBUS NON CURAT LEX.