Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A year in Gombeen Nation

All the newspapers do it, as the scribes have little else to write about at this time of the year. So Gombeen Nation proudly presents a brief retrospective of the year that was, picking out some of the lowlights of Irish life that featured in the blog.

In February, we had Donie Cassidy’s bizarre call that non-Irish nationals be forced to drive at slower speeds than the rest of us … then his suggestion that maybe we should all start driving on the right. But we do! Have a look at any dual carriageway or motorway and you will see that the Irish love to drive in the right-hand lane.

March saw B-B-B-Bertie warn us all of dark days ahead for the economy, just before he jumped/was pushed from the sinking ship he captained onto the rocks through economic mismanagement and property tax breaks that inflated the market, and contributed to the credit bubble. The same month saw details revealed of Fianna Fail’s Frank Fahey property portfolio.

April saw the reluctant resignation of supreme shyster Bertie Ahern as Toiseach. However, while Gombeen Man was delighted the corrupt Ahern was forced to leave (there’s enough from the tribunals to prove that, or…?), he saw little hope in the substantial shape of his replacement Brian (The Builder) Cowen.

In June we saw the crabby, overfed faces of Coir members celebrate the defeat of the Lisbon Treaty – another famous referendum “no” from the Irish. Coir operate out of the same address as Youth Defence, and their funding is a mystery. And we won’t speak of Declan Ganley, and where he gets his money.

Then we had the embarrassment of our European commissioner, Charlie (Eeeeeh) McCreevy, proudly declare he had not even read the Treaty. Thanks for making us the laughing stock of Europe, folks!

featured Irish speakers looking for tax incentives and Gombeen Nation looked at the contribution of racism in fueling the sudden “popularity” of Irish Language schools in working-class areas. Some of the comments on this one are quite revealing.

In August, we had Cardinal Brady calling for a return to good old-fashioned Christian values, as we had lost our way. So what kind of progressive Christian values was the good Cardinal referring to? Bigotry? Intolerance?
Sectarianism? Persecution?

September saw Gombeen Man dusting off the crystal ball, and seeing the familiar scene of Roy Keane walking out, this time on Sunderland.

It also saw the Government’s bank guarantee scheme being introduced overnight and Brian Cowen’s plan to use taxpayers’ money to bail out his builder buddies.

October was a busy month for the usually dilatory Gombeen Man, with a prolific 11 blog entries. Tips on avoiding those snotty nosed brats knocking on your door at Halloween were included, as were reflections on the nature of Irish patriotism, in light of Fintan O’Toole's revelations that Revenue had records of only 7,857 taxpayers with incomes of more than EUR 275,000, while a Bank of Ireland report told us that there were 33,000 millionaires in Ireland in 2006. Now, where’s my tricolour, so I can wrap myself up in it?

Gombeen Man also saw an interesting story on the Irland Inside blog, about a GAA supporter who was suing the Belfast Hilton for discrimination because they showed a Premiership match in preference to a Gah one.

In November we had Metro publishing a contentious article about Polish nationals claiming social welfare payments they are perfectly entitled to. It was, however, refreshing to read some of the comments received on this one, as it showed there are people out there who question some of the ignorant attitudes that are, sadly, so prevalent in Ireland at the moment.

There were also some reflections from Gombeen Man on the abuse that comes from that constituency, with some positive comments from readers who made him realise that doing the blog is a worthwhile pursuit. Thanks!

Ok, it’s still officially December, so unless some of you have had as much alcohol as has been consumed in Gombeen Manor over the Christmas, you won’t need reminding of some of the most recent topics. Will you? Just in case, we had Bonus points for Irish speakers in the Leaving Cert, a speeding motorist being forced to contribute to a GAA club, and Bono being offically recognised for his tireless work in avoiding tax.

It's enough to drive you to drink, isn't it?

So all that remains is to thank Gombeen Nation's readers for their support, their positive comments, and to wish them all the best for 2009. No doubt we will still have plenty of raw material to ponder and discuss in the new year.

Happy 2009.

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Das.Ding said...

All the best!

Keep up the good work in '09 :)

The Gombeen Man said...


Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Bernd said...

If all this drives you to drink ... remmeber it is cheaper (but unpatriotic) to get your poison up north!

Keep up the good work, not your mouth shut!

Best Wishes from Bernd

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, good tip, Bernd! All tbe best for the new year yourself.

Anonymous said...

greetings gombeen man and a very happy new year to you and yours hoping all is well at the manor and that your mortgage is managable this blasted recession brought on by nuerotic irrational property obsessed americans,will be the ruination of the irish gombeen class, many will have to get jobs in god forsaken england or god forbid poland driving a dumper or mixer., its just awfull for these sensitive and gentle builders the salt of the earth really . cheerio for now from beverly hills

The Gombeen Man said...

Ha ha, Anon. Thank goodness the Manor should be safe, due to sound financial prudence! Here, keep an eye out for somewhere in Beverly Hills for me just in case!!!!

Happy new year yourself. Cheers.