Thanks for the add! Gros bisous :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

As we walked through the streets of Dublin...

I am not going to lie to you. I have dithered and dithered about this post, because of its "political" aspect, and it may even switch a few people off, but I swear this will be the only one of its kind. Ten days ago, as we were coming back from a friend's house at about midnight, there was thunder and lightning. Something unheard of in Ireland. Next morning another unusual phenomenon for Ireland was covering all the streets and gardens.... SNOW! Such a rare event on this isle with its mild Atlantic climate!
So when I got to the "LUAS", which is the name of the tramway, the tracks were covered with snow, and you can even see the Dublin mountains in the background.
You see, I was on a mission, and the weather conditions reminded me of Il pleut bergère a French children song of some historical

This song, all about a shepherdess and her sheep dates back to 1780 and is said to have been a herald of the Revolution which was to happen 9 years later. You see, Marie-Antoinette used to play shepherds and shepherdesses in the Little Trianon in Versailles, whilst the majority of her French subjects lived in abject conditions. In this song the Revolution of 1789 is symbolised by the rain and the thunder  from which the "bergère" (the shepherdess) is seeking refuge.

Anyone who follows the news will know that the current situation in Ireland is alarming. After 8 centuries of resistance to England, it took just about 5 days for Ireland to abdicate its soveignty to the draconian conditions imposed by the EU and the IMF for it to repay its debt. But enough of the "leftie" talk, and on with the march.

As I looked at the pictures of Dublin I took during last Saturday's march, I thought they would make an interesting post. Everyone is allowed their political opinions and I have no intention of labouring mine in this post, but this march went through so many sites of historical importance that it would be a shame to keep these pictures to myself I thought.

The march started at Christ Church with its bridge which links this medieval cathedral (on the left here) to the Synod hall.

You now have a view from that bridge and cathedral from the other side.

We marched from Christ Church down to the Liffey turned right at the 4 Courts and left at O'Connell bridge before reaching the General Post Office.

These are supposed to be the hands of oppression I guess. But it is very much in the style of the floats that you can see here at the St Patrick's day Parade.
Underneath is the Four Courts, which is now the centre of legal life in Dublin, but which also a building of crucial importance during the Eater Rising of 1916, and the Irish civil war.
The river Liffey, also known as Anna Livia
And the Ha'penny bridge, a pedestrian cast iron bridge over the Liffey, built in 1816. The board walk promenade that flanks the river is a recent addition.
And then of course O'Connell street, which many kids were taught (wrongly of course) was the widest street in the whole of Europe! At the very start of the street is a statue of Daniel O'Connell, the "Liberator", the man behind Catholic emancipation in Ireland 
William Smith O'Brien, although a protestant, was also a supporter of Daniel O'Connell at the start, and then became one of his rivals.
Sir John Gray, yet another pal of Daniel O'Connell.
There were too many people for me to take a picture of the General Post Office (pic underneath) which In Ireland IS the symbol of the Easter Rising of 1916, and freedom from Britain, as it was the headquarters of the uprising leaders.

In conclusion, a hard snow came in Dublin  10 days or so ago, they are announcing more snow tonight, tomorrow is budget day, and I will be once again going out on the streets of Dublin to protest my disagreement with the current decisions which are being made in the name of the Irish people, and I leave you with one of my favourite songs from Bob Dylan, and next time I will write about my recent stay in Pennsylvania, but sometimes it is also good to look out the window to see what is happening outside.
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall - Live 1976 - Bob Dylan


Jamil S.P. said...

A great, lucid and informative post, dear Danièle. I like it so much.
Saint Patrick bless the Ireland and its people. I wish courage and wisdom to the leaders of your beautiful country.

Obs: here in Brazil 'LUAS' (in portuguese) is the plural of 'moon' :)

Mademoiselle Antonova said...

I enjoyed reading this post very much!
Being a student in England, I'm 'supposed' to be involved in a number of protests too... although they should work in theory, I am not too sure it's worth it in practice.
Ireland is in a particularly difficult situation... I'll be keeping an eye on your blog to see the updates from an 'insider'. Good luck xx

Danièle said...


I am so sorry that I cannot read Portuguese, but I try to see what you are saying by using Google translate! Doesn't always work though hehe. I know that Portugal is in a similar situation. So we just wait and see.

Mademoiselle Antonova. thanks for your input, I know too well that protests dont work, I've been going to them all my life, and I am yet to see one that worked. But in this instance I felt people were just registering their discontent with a government that has been less than competent over the course of these last 2 years. Frankly I have no illusion in anything coming out of this protest because there is no real political movement behind it. The trade unions are doing it because they should have done it 2 years ago and failed to do so, and the United Left Alliance is perceived as a bunch of extremist nutters and dont stand a chance, so... :( My guess is that we'll all just bear the brunt and stick it out. But let's say that I am not confident that my children will be able to stay in this country when the time comes for them to find a job.

celine said...

Human nature can be so much corrupt by power & the thirst of it.

Well written as usual :-)

Annushka said...

awesome video to a great song!!!)))
Love love love Dylan!!!

Rebelde said...

Ya estoy aquí, ya estoy aquí...y te traigo un enorme abrazo...buena entrada ;)

Danièle said...

Gracias senoritas!