Well its been a while. But here I go!
The last government of Ireland had numbed me, so much so that I became immune to their rantings, their obvious detachment, the silly unfounded statements and ridicuolus actions.
So when the new crew came along in a way I felt sorry for them and the mess they had taken on.
But the beast in me has been reawakened by our now minister for finance Michael Noonan and his leader Enda Kenny.
I suppose you could say I have had an epiphany on the road to the Malahide estuary to photograph another of our kind. A hard working, loving, vibrant, reality, being forced to turn away and seek feelings of worth in a mine in Perth Australia.
Oh now I realise what an empty system Irish democracy has evolved into.
For now it is some sort of a grotesque beauty pageant full of promise which it never delivers save that of some snappy debate during the run up to an election. Irish ministers buy expensive advice and act on it when it suits, working off briefing documents when faced with the public and the press, rarely expressing their own true opinion. For they are involved in spin, spinning their advisors version of the now that we find ourselves in.
Occasionally they drift from the set course and get carried away in the moment, and lost in their own self belief they then offer us an insight into the dark territory of delusion.
It has not gone away. Nothing has changed. We are still ruled over by people so removed from reality that they believe they can speak untruths on the airways and be believed and never challenged.
Worse still, when it happens the wagons form a circle to defend the indefensible and Michael is allowed to say emmigration is a life style choice, and Enda is allowed to let it slip to europe that we were all high on cheap money and 'tis our fault. The concept proven here is the one that says Irish politics is a sham, for gho-boys and actors who would not cut it on the stage, facades talking in riddles most of the time, but occaisionally revealing themselves as the over- theatrical elite, some how divorced from the reality of the mess that the present system perpetuates.
Only a revolution would sort this one out and unfortunately we are about a century out of time to carry that one off!
Mick Reid, an electrician by trade is joining the ranks of those sailing to the far flung corners of the world to maintain his dignity and self belief. As I have said before it is the motivated and the capable who choose to move to secure a future for themselves. We may never have him back. The country is at a loss and his enthusiasm and vigour will benefit the new society where he has recently arrived.
On the night Mick told me in no uncertain terms that he would not be leaving if there was work for him here. He loves his country, and his family have a proud heritage and are tightly knit into the community. mick said
"I am not really happy to be leaving, I would much rather have work here, If I don't get work
my skills will be lost.Every thing changes now as I leave and move abroad.
I am sad to leave my family,
my dogs and all my friends.
But there is nothing here for me now."From this day forward his family history is altered, there is no telling whether the impact overall will be positive or negative, this is the risk Mick has taken with his future. Michael Noonan's assertion does not hold for Mick and for many others, the lifestyle choice thing is only a component part
of a much bigger and more complex set of issues that this kind of schoolboy generalisation ignores.
Along with Enda's assertion that every consumer went mad on credit we are now seeing the true face of the Irish political class, totally cosseted and hidden away from the reality of the true financial turmoil being felt by ordinary Irish people. True in the early days of this government it's ministers watched what they said, but now in the comfort of their still cozy world here are two examples of them letting the shallow surface mask slip.
The end result is that I am once more plunged into dismay, and flailing around my kitchen!
Okay, back to reality and to our most recent location and subject at the Swords end of the Malahide Estuary, and Mick Reid. Mick has now left and is probably about to arrive in a new reality. I really hope that all goes well for him and his new life is every bit as fulfilling as it can possibly be. Mick wished to be photographed with his two dogs Red and Maggie. His love for them was to me very evident and to see him getting down on his hands and knees beside them brought home to me the hugeness of the sacrifice being made by any one who has parted involuntarily. Granted there are some for whom the choice to move was more infleunced by aspiration rather than the despair I could hear in Mick's voice as he told me of his love for Ireland, his family and probably above all, his dogs.
The night itself was not with out its drama, but it all came together beautifully, we were all there Ray, Hugh, Ian and myself shouting at the dogs at the top of our voices at midnight on the side of the road.
By no accident the shoot took place under the M1, the section that controversially passes over the broadwater estuary on stilts(as the location is a fragile habitat for many birds). For Mick who comes from a proud republican background I am sure in years to come it will mean a lot to him that he sat beneath the road that joins Dublin to Belfast. Lets hope his journey will bring him back to a changed Ireland, one where our public representatives appreciate the contributions made by everyone and the bad actors have left the stage.
Ray Hegarty and Hugh Mc Cabe looked after the lighting Ian Monahan helped handle the incidentals (Dogs and fig rolls included). It was a great night and it has helped me understand a little more about who we are.
Thanks to Mick, Red and Maggie.
Please comment freely and of course share the post with the world! (via the share tabs above)