Thursday, April 8, 2010

Some State If They Are Our Finest!

What is the world coming to when people think that Bono is the greatest Irish person ever? Or Stephen Gately? Or Phil Lynott?

Now don’t get me wrong, Bono, Stephen and Philo have achieved great things in their respective careers but surely no right-thinking Irish person could say that they are the Greatest Irish Person ever?

RTE is currently conducting a survey of the Irish public asking them this question - who is the Greatest Irish Person Ever and the results so far, as you have guessed, are quite astounding.

The final list has yet to be announced by judging by reports of the list to date, a lot of very key Irish people seem to be missing.

There is no mention of the great Liberator Daniel O’Connell, not a whiff of Eamon de Valera one of the most dominant figures in Irish politics in the 20th century, no mention either of Sean Lemass the first man to make serious inroads into peace in Northern Ireland, no appearance of that great economist TK Whitaker and not even a passing thought for Bob Geldof, the rocker-turned-activist?

Instead, the top 10 list looks something like this, in no particular order - Bono, Noel Browne, Michael Collins, James Connolly, Stephen Gately, John Hume, Phil Lynott, Padraig Pearse, Mary Robinson and Adi Roche.

While some of these names are very worthwhile nominees - Pearse, Hume, Collins and Connolly - we have to question why musicians such as Bono and the late Gately and Lynott are listed.

Yes they were good - but what eternal impact did they have on Irish life and culture? Very little, unless you are a music fan.

The politicians of the past put the current ones - who are on their Easter holliers until April 20 - to shame.

Will we ever seen politicians with the passion of Collins, the foresight of Lemass or the beliefs of O’Connell ever again?

What lasting impression has been left on a new generation of voters who know only of the likes of Charlie Haughey and Bertie Ahern?

It will be a sad day for the people of Ireland if successful musicians such as Bono, Gately and Lynott are eventually named Greatest Irish Person Ever.

So get voting ( and ensure that the calibre and the class of the people who built this Republic get the due credit they deserve.

The top 5, as nominated by voters, will then become the subject of one of five new hour-long documentaries, each charting the individual’s impact and contribution to Irish life.


Lily said...

I voted for Joe Dolan...thought he could do with a few votes!!!!!
I totally agree with your points. Misquoting Monty Python I must add "What has Bono ever done for us??" Don't think the answer is anything as long as the list given in the MP film!

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows the greatest Irish person ever is Sean Kelly.