Some current reflections, after a week on the island.

I have just spent a week on Inismeain, the middle, and quietest, of the Aran Islands. The days were mostly dry, and I got in plenty of long walks. The one I love best is the walk around the back of the island, over the rocks and by the sea. All week there was a cold, northerly breeze blowing, which would have been more at home in the month of January. But it was a good week; the island is so quiet, and even though it is only an eight minutes plane journey from the mainland, there is a real sense of being away from it all.
And increasingly I feel the need to get away, in the sense of disengagement, from a lot of what is happening.
I find the whole ‘water’ issue very depressing. I sent a letter to the Irish Times the other day, which wasn’t published, summing up how I feel:

Climate change is now a reality, it has led to global warming, and there are potentially disastrous consequences for future generations on the planet and at home, not least a shortage of clean water. In this context it is very depressing to listen to the irresponsible debate on water in this country. Surely it is past time that everybody, government, opposition, media, indeed the Irish people as a whole, realised that this matter is much too serious for the nonsense that we are daily exposed to. We have no ‘right’ to water, unless we care for it. Caring usually costs money.

Yours, etc.

Short-term political advantage seems to be the only motive for most of our political leaders, irrespective of the serious long-term consequences of some of the issues being dealt with. I wonder do they care at all for future generations. Right now all the opinion polls suggest that it will be next to impossible to form any type of government after the next election.
Maybe I am getting cranky in my old age, but the re-enactments of Pearse’s speech at O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral repels me. Too much came out of that mentality that has been ugly and destructive, and too many lives have been lost. I am not looking forward to next year, and the 1916 centenary, if this is the type of thing we will get.

In the Church we have one of the young Irish bishops telling people that if they feel unworthy to receive communion they should approach the priest and ask for a blessing. Apart from the fact that it is contrary to what Pope Francis has been saying (The Eucharist is not food for the perfect, but nourishment for the weak), it also shows a dreadful lack of understanding of local communities.
Yet again we see an example of the damage being done to the Irish Church by the episcopal appointments being made by Charles Brown. (Don’t mind what he says about consultation, and the Pope making the appointments. It is his doing, and any efforts at consultation are a sham.)

Maybe I should go back to Inismeain!!