Another mournful tune from Ireland this week. The tune is Éire, “one of the great aisling songs from the Ring of Waterford Déise” (Gaelic speaking part of County Waterford).
A quick google search taught me that an aisling “or vision poem, is a poetic genre that developed during the late 17th and 18th centuries in Irish language poetry. In an aisling, Ireland appears to the poet in a vision in the form of a woman, sometimes young and beautiful, sometimes old and haggard.” The woman “laments the current state of the Irish people and predicts an imminent revival of their fortunes, usually linked to the return of a Stuart pretender to the English throne.”
You have to wonder how many Irish citizens are penning aislings today, predicting an imminent revival of their fortunes and linking this to the European Central Bank / EU’s “rescue package”.
Nick Cohen has an interesting article in today’s Observer questioning whether it is right that the people of Ireland should pay such a heavy price for the laxity of their politicians and bankers.
In another article in the paper we learn that Ireland’s “ unemployment rate is 13.5%. It fell by a tenth of a percentage point last month, but only because people are leaving the country to find work. Britain’s rate, in contrast, is 7.7% and Europe’s average rate is 9.6%.”
With the planned austerity measures and the young and enterprising leaving the country to build their futures elsewhere, it is difficult not to be pessimistic about Ireland’s chance of avoiding a debt-deflation spiral.