I like to think that, on a good day, I’m a decent enough Christan and, on a bad day, like too many people, there would be no chance of anyone seeing a halo over my head.
As I approached the church gates, I rummaged through my pockets hoping that I had some loose coins as I could see that there was a collection for something or other.
My heart did a double somersault; I was about to launch a handful of coins into the bucket when my eye caught sight of the billboard-sized signage.
‘Fianna Fáil National collection’ it read, and I almost gave them a donation?
Just imagine the shame I would have to live with for the rest of my days if I had? They have stolen Sinn Féin’s clothes and have now moved from collecting close to the church doors to Sinn Féin’s spot outside the gates?
To the untrained or uncaring eye, it would be no different than contributing to any other political party’s fund raising activities, sort of but not quite? I’m about long enough to have cottoned on to those bluffers and their unsuspecting apprentices.
I remember lord of the manor, Charlie Haughey, telling us to tighten our belts because of the hard times ahead but that, of course, did not include him and his shopping sprees in trendy French shops.
I also remember Paddy Hillery, Minister for External Affairs in 1972, signing away the rights to our natural resources for a pittance.
How could anyone forget the ‘box under the bed’ taoiseach? I’m referring to the only government leader known in the western world who did not have a bank account and kept his donation money in a box under his bed, Bertie Aherne.
I haven’t forgotten his role in leading us to the top of the hill, and getting caught up in the freefall straight to the bottom, or the hapless Brian Cowen trying to muddle his way through an interview after a night on the tear?
Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Sport during the period Mary Hanafin tried to tell us that the taoiseach was not pissed, he was not slurring his words, he was just hoarse.
I have not forgotten the rush for the one-way tickets by those who could escape, to Australia, Canada, and America, from the trail of devastation left by Fianna Fáil mismanagement and misrule.
I have not forgotten the tribunal court cases where politicians riddled with fleas got a clean bill of health?
I have not forgotten the shoddy workmanship allowed to flourish in the rush to build houses, which are now being condemned as fire and pyrite hazards and owners wring their hands in exasperation at their now worthless, sinking, cracking homes.
I see and hear on a daily basis of citizens being evicted from their homes, farmers losing holdings that had been in their families for generations, because this country was allowed to develop into a commodified pyramid scheme where vulture funds circled in a darkening sky, waiting to move in and strip the bones bare.
As for contributing to their pity box, why should anyone under the rising sun be rewarded for carrying out horrifyingly bad work?
It’s beyond belief that people are so short-sighted and defunct of brain tissue that they willingly go out and vote them into office again, where they can pocket a big wage, look forward to a guaranteed early pension, build big houses and claim expenses or, in some cases, double claim?
Perhaps that’s where I’m failing in the forgiveness stakes because I have to admit that there was neither sight nor sound of a halo while I was juggling with words that were not expletives in jotting this lot down, because it’ll take more than a lick of commemorative 1916 green paint to take Fianna Fail back to their roots.
I know I’m just in the door from Mass, but I’m sure the man above will understand where the lack of forgiveness is coming from one this one.