Cost Of A Matchstick €23,000 In Fairy Tale Ireland

It is no secret that our beloved and now bankrupt island of Ireland has always been associated with Fairies, Banshees, Pookas, Elves and Goblins, but not until last Sunday did I realise that Ireland had recaptured its justifiable first place position, out ranking Denmark which was formally regarded as the real home of the Fairytale. Yes my friends, Denmark is no longer the home of the fairytale and its once resident Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) will now be resigned to our countries recycle bins with immediate effect.

This deceased prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, H.C. Andersen, whose tales previously transcended age and nationality, will be no longer remembered for his short story’s that typically featured folkloric fantasy characters here in Tipperary and Ireland. These Fairy Tales, which had previously become culturally embedded in our collective consciousness and which were always readily accessible to our kids, and which also presented lessons of virtue and strong resilience to our more mature readers, particularly to those involved in our banking sectors, are officially dead.

I remember well sitting on the knee of my dear old Granny, (God be good to Eliza Jane,) as she related the tale of  “The Emperor’s New Clothes” from that short story by Andersen.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, a vain Emperor, who cares for nothing except wearing and displaying fine garments, hires two swindlers. These gentlemen promise him the finest & best of garments manufactured from a new type of fabric that was invisible to anyone who was unfit for position or who was hopelessly stupid. The Emperor’s ministers privately admit they cannot see the clothing themselves but pretend that they can, for fear of appearing unfit for office and indeed the Emperor himself does exactly the same. Finally these swindlers report that their first new garment is finished, they mime as they dress him up in his new invisible finery and the Emperor marches publicly with head held high in a procession before the very eyes of his fawning subjects, playing along with this same pretence, not wanting themselves, as you can imagine, to appear unfit with regard to their own official positions. Then, suddenly, out of the mouth of an innocence child in the crowd, latter too young to understand the desirability of keeping up a pretence, comes the loud shout “But he isn’t wearing anything at all,” and he soon finds his cry is eventually taken up by others.

Emperor Enda, surrounded by Wexford Councillors & Dignitaries, sets out with the Eternal Flame to ignite the Emigrant Flame in the President J.F. Kennedy family homestead at New Ross.  (With apologies to "The Emperor's New Clothes" by artist Vilhelm Pedersen)

Emperor Enda, surrounded by Wexford Councillors & Dignitaries, sets out with the Eternal Flame to ignite the Emigrant Flame in the President J.F. Kennedy family homestead at New Ross. (With apologies to “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by the Late great artist Vilhelm Pedersen 1820-1859.)

The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is possibly true, yet he continues on with his procession, while ignoring the now obvious truth.

Now with Ireland having won first place as the fairytale capital of the world, this old outdated tale will be immediately replaced with a more up-to-date & modernised version of this story, latter highlighted by Niamh Horan in the Independent Newspaper on Sunday last.

The gist of Niamh’s story relates that, at an estimated cost of €2,300 per head, a group of some 10 politicians and officials, plus five soldiers flew out to America on the previous Sunday morning to get a light, from the flame on US president John F. Kennedy’s grave & known as the ‘Eternal Flame,’ (Or was it the Infernal Flame, damn my memory continues to slide.).  As one would expect, due to obvious jet lag, the majority stayed over until Thursday, despite the previous Tuesday’s flame handover ceremony lasting only a few short hours. This little ‘Jolly’ or junket cost the Irish tax payers of a bankrupt country only €23,000, well that is if you subtract the little extras, like the cost of Coke, (No, no, it is the stuff in the aluminium can that you drink) a packet of M & M’s and the dispatching of Junior Minister for Arts Heritage and Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley from his work place, to the airport, to meet and greet Government chief whip and Junior Minister for Defence Mr Paul Kehoe. Well you have all experienced jet lag & in case Paul had gotten disorientated by his plane ride, Dinny was there to help and insure that this Infernal flame was still lighting from the previous Tuesday’s ceremony.

As you can see the basic ingredients of  Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tale will continue to remain reasonably unchanged. It will still contain the characters of an Emperor, those unfit for office and social position, those who waste tax payers money through wanton stupidity and incompetence and of course those who continue to choose to reside in a world of unadulterated pretence. Missing of course, possibly due to current financial government cutbacks is that innocent child, who will eventually awaken all of us up to true reality.

For a country where every resident no longer own their own homes and where the basic human right of ‘wetting ones lips‘ with water is shortly about to be taxed, one would expect that a dry matchstick, struck & protected from the wind in the cupped hand, would surely have sufficed to ignite that same Immigrant Flame.

Maybe you foolishly don’t believe in fairies or fairy tales, but look what happened when a fairy fort was demolished on the controversial Quarryvale Shopping Centre development in Clondalkin. Yes you have guessed correctly, the infamous Mahon Tribunal, and if you believe this latter to be just an isolated incident, don’t forget the collapse of the multi-billion Euro empire of Mr Sean Quinn in Co Cavan, after he relocated a 4,000-year-old megalithic burial tomb, to further expand one of his cement quarries.

The remaining ‘doubting Thomas,’ in your midst may still require further proof. Same can be obtained if you research only as far back as 1999. There in the archived papers & plans of the National Roads Authority (NRA) you can observe why changes were made to the proposed route for the Ennis bypass to avoid a lone hawthorn bush, which marked the site of where fairies are known to congregate on a regular basis, thus the route was changed to avoid vexing those ‘Little People.’

You can ask anyone, but we here in Thurles & Tipperary always keep on the right side of our fairy friends and as my late granny used to say “You will find no rotting eggs in our hay,” if you understand exactly what I mean.


1 comment to Cost Of A Matchstick €23,000 In Fairy Tale Ireland

  • Michael

    I saw a large GATHERING near my house recently and I wasn’t asked to join.


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