The level of sectarian comments were outright disgraceful, the equivalent of being called a ‘nigger lover’ if he had worn a BlackLivesMatter badge.
On the eve of Brexit we have one of the greatest opportunities of a United Ireland, to carry out a border poll to solidify an opportunity for reunification as outlined in the Good Friday Agreement.
How do people react, with deep rooted and callous nationalism that shows how small minded and resentful we are as a Nation.
Now I’m not suggesting the Taoiseach wearing a poppy would swing hardened loyalists to vote for a United Ireland, but it would show that we’re open minded about diversity of culture and accepting of their beliefs, to the point that it may ease tensions and prevent actual conflict post polling results, should results favour unity.
The reaction to Leo wearing the poppy reminded me of the riots which ensued in Dublin City in 2006 following a planned Orange March, which nearly resulted in Charlie Bird getting killed, or hospitalized, or having to wear a band-aid or something.
This litmus test (Taoiseach wearing a poppy) shows how unready the Republic of Ireland is for reunification. It shows how much people identify with a Nationalist narrative which is more suited to a border remaining in place, if it were to fall I can’t imagine people coping with the idea that we would have to create a new constitution, select a less sectarian national anthem, or tolerate a DUP Fine Gael coalition which introduces Holy Water Charges.
I can’t imagine people calling for the next Orange March in Dublin to be rebranded as an all inclusive ReUnification Parade, I can’t imagine it because of people’s misguided hatred for a man born in Holland over 300 years ago. If we ever agreed to a United Ireland I’d be the first person in that ReUnification Parade pledging to call my first born son Billy and my second born son Billy Two (girls would be Margaret and Theresa).
It doesn’t help that Leo is deeply unpopular outside his own toilet cubicle but anyone who challenges his decision to wear a poppy is the opposite of patriotic, a true patriot would commend our Taoiseach for holding an olive branch on the eve of Robert Emmet’s Epitaph being read aloud on the streets of Derry, on the mouth of the river Shannon and on the Hill of Tara.
People’s reaction to the Taoiseach wearing the poppy is a reflection of the deep rooted casual sectarianism of the south, which people are actually oblivious to, they wouldn’t even consider themselves sectarian for their hate speech or abusive comments.
A United Ireland would see the DUP take between 10-20% of Dail seats yet people remain outraged that the Taoiseach should wear a symbol which shows tolerance and acceptance, a revolution of a free and open society with cross border values.
So well done to the boys of the poppy hate brigade who conducted attacks on Irish Unity in small columns of flying Twitterati, it’s heartbreaking to see how unprepared you are for a thirty two county Republic.