While the regime tried their damnedest to depoliticise and adapt the centenary of 1916 to their own ends, the Blueshirt class of shopkeepers and bankers were found once again fumbling in their greasy tills, Shucking history for a few pennies over the odds. Let’s starry plough through some examples.
1. Connolly Shot Glasses
Carroll’s brand of sheep clutching, flat cap wearing Guinness swilling leprechauns is hardly going to turn its eye to the rising with any sensitivity. If chocolate bar proclamations weren’t bad enough, one can only imagine what our lost labour leader Connolly would have thought of his mustachioed visage ending up emblazoned across a cheap shot glass. Well we don’t have to wonder too hard, Connolly was an avowed pioneer and so dismissive of the demon drink it’s believed he legged it to the states in 1903 sickened by his comrades wasting subscriptions money on liquor.
2. The Mayo Tapesty
You might have forgotten that awful banner strewn from the Bank of Ireland on College Green but we haven’t. We christened it the Mayo Tapestry on social media, after all Kenny’s bloody own Department ordered it. The banner, which featured a range of constitutional nationalists like Henry Grattan, Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and John Redmond, provoked confusion and conniptions among even those of us that spent most our Junior Cert carving Mitsubishi symbols into the desk. What’s so cash inny about this whole charade? Well, it goes to show what a racket those bastards in power are running. That’s your cash monies being wasted with revisionist nonsense shoring up their rule.
3. The Butcher’s Apron
Those that went out in 1916 did so in a fiercely desperate attempt to rid Ireland of the presence of the Butchers’ Apron. From Connemara lamb to Fermanagh Black Pig, butchers all over the country were shamelessly cashing in on the blood of those shed to sell on a few auld sossies. €19.16 for a leg of lamb? These victuallers really have made mincemeat out of our heroes memory. With all this talk of blood sacrifice, these cash-ins cut a little too close to the bone.
Ambiguous posters adorned Topaz stations throughout the country with a caption reading “1916-2016 celebrating the beauty and heritage of our land and the achievements that shaped modern Ireland”. How do we even begin deciphering this cryptic message? Topaz of course are experts in signifying one thing and doing another, all very neatly encapsulated by their greenwashed branding. To some, Topaz the gemstone is associated with healing and friendship, so what better name to give to a fossil fuel extracting multinational! In this light, we can take their 1916 message to read “TBH, we don’t give a fuck about 1916, just stop here and spend some money, bitches.”
5. Connolly On AIB
James Connolly would have loved for the banks of Ireland to be nationalised. So, imagine a 1916 era republican, ushered away on the eve of the rising to our shiny present. The very thought of seeing Connolly’s image on the very building where rebels seized a telegram machine and told the world of the republic. Surely this heralded the victory of the people over the financial institutions. Hardly. Imagine explaining to this quantum leaping soul, that true the bank has been nationalised, yet to the backdrop of a bailout and the socialisation of private debt by NAMA.