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” The failure to break with the colonial past is illustrated by the State’s habit of imitating British practices and conventions. The names and structures of government agencies are copied direct from England: the ‘Special Branch’, the ‘Director of Public Prosecutions’, the ‘Ombudsman’ and so on. Even the forms used in tax assessment are direct copies of those used in Britain. (Originally the Department of Finance wanted to call itself ‘The Treasury’ but this was vetoed by Westminster: there could only be one Treasury and it wasn’t in Dublin!)
It is reflected too in uniforms: the uniforms worn by military personnel, by Civil Defence, even by traffic wardens. As for the police force, it is nominally unarmed but about 25% of it is plain-clothes and armed with Uzis. The Uzi is an Ingram-type machine pistol manufactured in Israel, probably out of re-cycled sardine cans or the like: it is a scatter-fire weapon favoured by security forces in countries where if a few by-standers are mown down then it is of no consequence. The Gardai also have stocks of CS-gas and plastic bullets, though these have only rarely been deployed.

It is often claimed that the State originates in the 1916 Rising and subsequent struggle for freedom. This is of course nonsense. The Free State destroyed and replaced the Republic declared in 1916 and is a continuation of the previous colonial regime by other means. It was established by an act passed at Westminster and it inherited the administrative machinery (and most of the personnel) of Dublin Castle. The State has continued to be ruled by a system of laws devised for a totally different society. British war memorials and the graves of Black-and-Tans are maintained by the Office of Public Works: Republican graves and memorials at private expense….”

Help us to break that ‘colonial status…’ .

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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