The news that Ireland will be exiting the EU-IMF bailout next month is the most significant development since this country’s 2011 democratic revolution.
When the Irish people voted in a new government and thereby executed a democratic revolution, even those with the highest of hopes for the new order could not have imagined that the shining moment of restored economic sovereignty would arrive so soon, and in such glory.
Let us give credit to our departing Troika partners. They have shown us that democratic revolutions are about challenging the people to do more with less, to go the extra mile, to realise that true service to democracy means being prepared to go hungry, or sick, or without work, or abroad, so that a vibrant market economy -the bedrock of any democracy- can woo investors.
Ireland’s democratic revolution has been the decisive moment of a nation’s maturity.
During the bailout, the nation proved its maturity in putting the interests of potentially disappointed bond investors ahead of people’s own selfish interest in luxuries such as basic health care and education. No expense or cancer patient was spared in order to demonstrate that this Democracy was open for business.
Now that this cold hard slog has ended, in which the Nation’s mettle has been sorely tested, Ireland looks to the future, forward looking and going forward, safe in the knowledge that better days lie ahead, better days for us to eke out in the colder, harder slogs of the brave new decades of Democracy that beckon us.
You’ve come a long way, baby.