Please forgive us. Please forgive those people – myself included – who have been watching the fiasco over the Garth Brooks concerts unfold over the last few days and who have been bemused, saddened and even a little hurt by the reaction of many. Please forgive those of us who have had the temerity to wonder out loud what would happen in this great little country of ours if people got so enraged about things that they did go on protest marches, and did chain themselves to public buildings and did bring the country to a halt. Please forgive us for having the cheek to suggest it would be nice or good if people got that enraged about things that really matter. Please forgive us if we dare to say that An Taoiseach surely has other things to be working on than trying to bring an end to this mess. Please forgive us because you see in between caring for our loved ones who are sick, or who have disabilities, or who have dementia, we forget that some of the people of Ireland only get worked up and angry enough to protest about things like these concerts, or Saipan. Please forgive us for being naive enough to hope that one day maybe these self same people would come out to support us when we have to march and protest against cuts to services, cuts to respite care grants, cuts to SNA positions…..
A few days ago when all this mess – and it has turned into a right bloody mess – started, I posted on Facebook that while I could understand people who had bought tickets being disappointed (and I still do) and while I fully appreciate there will be a financial loss to our economy (and I still do, and let’s face we need a few extra bob), I found it disheartening to say the least that many many people had taken to various social media saying the country should march on Croke Park, or that everyone who bought a ticket (that’s 400,000 people by the way) should chain themselves to the gates of Croker, or that all of those people should email Enda Kenny and their local TD’s to complain, yet they could not come out to support more important issues. Now, I am all for protesting, I’ve done my share of marching, I frequently email my TD’s, councillors and Ministers about certain issues. But I did say on Facebook that night that I found it a bit depressing that some people could not get so energised about the really important things in our country. I am not – repeat not – saying people should not get upset about the cancellation of the concerts. I am not – repeat not – saying people should not express these feelings and if they want to contact their elected representatives about it then that is their right. What I did say and am saying again here is that those of us who HAVE to spend a certain amount of our time fighting for rights, fighting for services, fighting for basic things, find it sad that these people can only apparently get worked up over something that in the grand scheme of things is not really that important. It is also sad that those of us who have said as much on social media have been accused of being pathetic, of being unable to see others’ viewpoints, of being (as was said to one friend of mine) “obsessed with all that serious stuff”. Well, please do forgive us. You see, we live that serious stuff and at times we just feel that if only more people would get active about that serious stuff then maybe, just maybe, things might start to change.