Ireland’s coalition government remains on high alert about how to combat the growing popularity of The Wolfe Tones, a republican ballad group, aka ‘the provisional wing of traditional Irish music’. The renewed appeal of their morally and historically dodgy but also highly catchy songs, has sent official Ireland into the spin to end all spins.
Meanwhile the government is quietly muttering ‘something will have to be done’ about an astonishing new British bill, on its way to becoming law. The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, will prevent all criminal investigations into killings and other attacks that took place during ‘the troubles’. Literally, sweeping them under the carpet for good.
The bill has managed the unlikely feat of uniting everyone within and without Northern Ireland. It is opposed by the North’s five main political parties, relatives of those bereaved by the Troubles, victims and survivors’ groups, human rights organisations, the United States and the United Nations. The Irish government also opposes it but has been fretting over “The Stradbally Massacre”, since last weekend.
This refers to the baffling return of The Wolfe Tones to mainstream popularity at Electric Picnic – Ireland’s Glastonbury – where they drew the largest crowd in the festival’s history. This sent the government into a ‘Fall of Saigon’ panic, as the footage proved just how much young people enjoy chanting lyrics like “Ooh, aah, up the ‘RA”.
With Sinn Fein riding high in the polls, the coalition government is beside itself worrying about ‘the rise of nationalism’. As oblivious as middle age has always been, to the irresistible appeal for young people, of acting in ways that will annoy the hole out of their parents.