Friday, September 11, 2015

"The Dream" - January 10th, 1957

The Dream

(Published in the Irish Catholic, January 10th, 1957, after the deaths of Sean South and Fergal O'Hanlon)

When a young man dies for his country, what does he die for? He dies not for green fields, silvery lakes, purple mountains, white farmhouses or city streets of pleasant memory. He dies for a people. You may question his wisdom. You may condemn his methods. You may hint that he was, in his own way, seeking excitement or that he was dreaming romantic dreams of glory. But in these days there are plenty of ways of seeking excitement without seeking death. And in these d...ays the romance of swirling flags and glittering swords is gone. When young men risk death they do so for what they consider a worthy cause, the cause of their nation. And in that word nation they wrap up the ideas of "a people". They want those people to have liberty to govern themselves properly. They want those people to live in comfort in their homeland, enjoying justice and equality of opportunity. You may question the wisdom of a young mans methods. You may condemn them. But you cannot question or condemn the dream for which he died. If you are anything other than a complete self-centred moron, or a despairing cynic, you too have that dream in your heart for your people and your children. And whilst you discuss the young man who dies does it occur to you to examine your own attitude to the dream. You may praise or criticise him. But what, beyond discussion, are you doing for the dream? You watch the young people moving out to England, Canada, Australia and America. You fume about the over-all disease of "patronage" and "influence". You rant about governments and civil service. You complain bitterly about the country's lack of money, of production and prestige. You talk and debate energetically. But how much do you do? When young men die how guilty do you feel? How much have you done or sacrificed to remove the obstacles to the dream-the obstacles which build up complete frustration in so many young people? The obstacles and the sense of frustration which cause some of our best youngsters to emigrate in despair and which cause others to seek drastic solutions. When a young man dies for his country, he dies for a dream that is your dream. If you believe his methods are wrong, it is for you to demonstrate what methods are right. How far have you progressed or even tried?
GALLOWGLASS Foilsiodh san 'Irish Catholic'10 Eanair 1957

Go raibh mile maith agat to Seamus Linnehan for posting this on his FB page, "A Rebel Spirit"

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