It’s a lonely place for Ireland to be in. Also quite an embarrassing place to be in. While we are, according to our Taoiseach (or Prime Minister) a great little country to do business in – we don’t even want the taxes, with interest, corporations based here have been told by the EU to pay to our Revenue – but, we are not so great when it comes to disability rights.
This coming Thursday, there will be a demonstration at Leinster House, in front of the Dail, the Irish Parliament, from 13:00 to 13:40, to highlight the fact that Ireland has not yet ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – making it the only country in the EU not to have done so. And despite the Government having promised to do so before the end of the year. The Government are with Johnny Logan, one of Ireland’s greatest sons, singing, as he did at the Eurovision in The Hague in 1980: What’s another year!
Though the lyrics make it more a song we would sing, stoically (and a bit sadly) – never listened to the lyrics as I did today.
I’ve been waiting such a long time, reaching out for you – but you’re not near. What’s another year? – What’s another year for someone who’s lost everything that he owns? What’s another year for someone who’s getting used to being alone? I’ve been praying such a long time, it’s the only way to hide the fear. What’s another year?
So, what’s another year? – It’s another year of a broken promise, a commitment not met. Because other things were more important. Listening to the radio these days makes me angry. There is one storm after the other in this big tea cup. They’re all pretty inconsequential, in my mind – while actions that really do make a difference are rare and, when they happen, often not reported by our headline seeking media because they don’t “sell”. And then we wonder why people are dis-engaging, watch reality TV shows, and forget how to think and analyse independently, voting for crazy things and crazier people.
There was a brilliant moment today, too. One of Pádraig’s carers had brought him chocolate from their holidays and as he put a piece into his mouth that was about to fall he made sure with his index finger to catch it and put it were it should go. Pure enjoyment. And a first – proofs that you can do anything, as long as there is an important purpose.