Tuesday, March 8, 2011


When I was young, yes that long ago, I could be heard in many a folk club, pint of stout in hand, crooning along with the best of them to Irish folk songs.

Indeed I even had a copy of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem song book. In the privacy of my own home I would strum along on my guitar to Republican airs.

“Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war

'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud-El-Bar

And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through

While Britannia's Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew”

You get the gist.

So why am I telling you this?

Well the Republic of Ireland has just had a general election. As I lived in Dublin for some years, have close Irish roots, indeed my son was born in Churchtown and hence is a son of the Liffey - I have been taking a keen interest in the results.

I have also been spellbound at the knots news presenters have got themselves into trying to pronounce the names of Ireland’s political parties.

At the end of verses in a number of Clancy Brother songs they would shout – Fine Girl, You Are! Apparently Fine Girl is now the major party in the Irish Government.

Of course Fianna Fáil has long considered itself the natural party of government in the Republic. And here perhaps the news readers haven’t got it totally wrong. The proud party of Éamon De Valera was nearly wiped out – hence pronouncing Fianna Fáil as fail may be more than appropriate.

Fine Girl You Are, Indeed!

(For the record Fine Gael secured 76 seats (+25) and will be in coalition with Labour 37 (+17) whilst Fianna Fáil have 20, down 58. Sinn Fein and other parties won 33 seats.)

No comments: