So having a casual look through Facebook, as you do on a cold Tuesday night, I couldn’t help but see the interest in Leo Varadkar and his sporting a glitzy Shampoppy in Leinster house today. For those of you who don’t know, the leader of the Freestate today donned on his lapel a red poppy which commemorates the British Army but to “paddy” it up a bit, it was surrounded by a Shamrock!
Why is this alarming? Well for many people they still live in the days when even the Freestate wouldn’t be so obvious or offensive to the people of Ireland as to commemorate an Army that has murdered, tortured, harassed and mutilated its people. The idea floating about now is to try and rehabilitate the British army and to get the general public to accept a notion that “our men” died in its ranks and so, therefore, we should commemorate. Even PSF in later years have attended British Army commemorations and who can forget the image of Alex Maskey laying a wreath at a British Army cenotaph.
Personally I have never really spoken about my opposition to wearing the Poppy, partly because I am not really opposed to people doing what they want, you want to wear a poppy knock yourself out, I am for freedom of expression and speech, but do not ram this propaganda down my throat that somehow “our men” also died in these World wars. The new Irish attitude towards the British is nauseating, the rehabilitation of Irish men who went to fight and die in an army, for a country that was occupying their native land and murdering its people is nothing short of despicable, they weren’t “our men”, yes they were Irish men, but they were Irish men in the British Army and this isn’t something to commemorate for a nation that is still under the occupation of that very same government and Army.
Of course Leo Vardakar wearing this shampoppy should come as no surprise to anyone; it is just the latest in a long list of Freestate stunts to appease their former colonial masters. This isn’t a new thing for Fine Gaelers either, in previous years other members haven’t even bothered to sham it up and just outright wore the British Legion’s original poppy. In stark contrast to their support of the British Legion’s poppy they are vehemently opposed to the Republican Easter Lily which commemorates the men and women who have gave their lives for Irish Freedom, Fianna Fail’s opposition to the Easter Lily stretches right back to the 1930’s when they tried to introduce an alternative called the “Easter Torch”, at that time at least the people of Ireland still had some national pride left and the new badge floundered.
I have said this more than once before, we are in the middle of a national epidemic, national Stockholm syndrome. The Shampoppy is the least of our worries. We have had British Royals parading around Ireland basically treating Ireland as their little Island retreat, we have the so-called “Republicans” in the form of PSF having dinner with the British Monarch and having tea with the heir to that throne, we have a wall in Glasnevin that lists all those who died in 1916 including British Army with no distinction made. The despicable propaganda that is spouted out to the Irish people day in and daily, in an attempt to bring them on this ride of a national sell out, should be opposed vigorously.
I am not going to go into the moral and political reasons why Irish Republicans should not wear the Poppy; it is so obvious that it would be an insult to my reader’s intelligence, however I think for the week that is in it, it is worthy to note that Irish Republicans have always opposed such British Militaristic symbols, whether they be badges or monuments. Tomorrow the family, friends and comrades of Liam Sutcliffe will lay him to rest after he died on 3rd November. Liam was a well-known Republican and the man who blew up Nelson Pillar. Nelsons Pillar was blown up in 1966 by Republicans, much like the Poppy it was a British symbol of commemoration.
It had no place in Ireland, much as the wall in Glasnevin does not, nor does the British Legions Poppy. Let us hope that these two symbols of British Army commemoration go the way of Nelson’s Pillar, and are only a thing only to be remembered, not experienced in Irish Society.