November 2016        

Theatre

“Ireland, Shed a Tear”
at the New Theatre

Paul Doran

“Ireland, Shed a Tear” was something that I had long wanted to go and see. On the Saturday that I was to see the play (1 October) the Irish Times reviewed it in a not too friendly opinion piece. But I’m used to the Times and its opinion pieces and, like all good socialists, I ignored it.
     I hadn’t been to the New Theatre in a while, which is my loss: things just seem to get in the way. There was a good crowd to see it, at least three-quarters full, and for me the play was emotionally draining, as I kept thinking about the human beings who died in Carrickmines and how they must have screamed and screamed in the fire that engulfed them.
     Tiny little children, unable to move. Can you imagine what must have gone through their minds? It is nearly beyond our imagination, as Michael Collins kept singing that song made famous by Christy Moore, “Go, Move, Shift,” with those lingering lyrics: “So move along, get along, Move along, get along, Go! Move! Shift!”—the prejudices as Collins clearly depicted of fellow-humans insulting their way of life; and it never stops.
     We never learn, but we Irish seem to do prejudices in a big way, and are more open about it. It can be eyes thrown up, or the stare. Good Catholic Ireland.
     Michael Collins and his young son Johnny have done us proud by putting on this tragic performance, and I urge them to travel the country and especially go to our schools and show our young people how we treat our fellow-citizens.
     For Enda Kenny I say, Shame on you and your party for not ensuring that Travellers are given their due respect.

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