Across from the GPO, Clerys falls without a shot fired

And still no stirrings. No sign of revolution. Whatever happened to the supposed spirit of 1916? Were there no genes passed on, or have they skipped this generation? How will we ever parade next year, celebrating what? Down our main thoroughfare, past its casinos, burger joints, bookies, junkies, and Clerys so recently cunningly captured.

There are so many sad aspects to Ciarán Hancock’s article on Clerys in the Business and Innovation section of today’s Irish Times. He sets out in laudable detail the stealth, planning and ruthlessness of the moves that took down Clerys. There is no comment on morality. It was legal, and that’s what matters. It was “business”. “Innovation”. Maybe Ms Foley and Co should actually get medals, awards, dinners held in their honour; sure doesn’t Denis O’Brien get lashings of them? Perhaps she is the hero of all this; the world is divided between wildebeest and lions and we should hail the hunter and what odds the prey separated from the pack and slaughtered. Sure, doesn’t it keep the herd strong to lose its, well, losers?

I thought perhaps the article, though not deemed worthy of the front page of the IT, would draw editorial comment. Nope, not a sausage. Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps old men merely rail, Lear-like, daft and doting, uncomprehending, out of touch with the new, real Ireland, where people adore and idolise the only thing that matters – wealth. We only hate O’Brien because we’re not him. Or perchance we just feel helpless.

I have seen the faces of those Clerys workers. Hidden, from my gaze at least, are those behind the entities that are OCS (in all its forms), Gordon Brothers, Natrium, D2 Private and Cheyne Capital (I may have seen Ms Doyle’s smug-shot somewhere on the net). But Hancock, in his piece, sets out how between them all, entirely legal, sneaky, cowardly manoeuvres were carefully planned and executed, military-style, culminating in shocked staff shown the door at a moment’s notice. Naturally, KPMG were involved; they can’t lose for winning.

Yes of course, our leaders gave out. Mr Kenny, the longest-serving and most fully institutionalised member of the Dáil, tut-tutted and then carried on giving people good-natured clatters on the back and maiming both logic and language when forced to speak. Mr Martin, the last FF princeling still standing, pressed that well-worn button delivering altar-boy sincerity and worldly-wise sad indignation, then shut up. And Ms Burton, from the party that’s actually supposed to care about this sort of thing, was, well Fr-Ted-irritated kinda, for a while. Mr Adams was annoyed too, though one would have thought the kind of stealth and planning of the Clerys operation might have roused in him a kind of Northern-Bank street respeck.

To whom can we turn? Is this country lost?


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