Friday, April 3, 2009

Don't tread on me

It's Friday, so we all need a bit of a chuckle.
As such, The Board recommends this pompous, ridiculous rant by county councillors Kevin Sheahan (above) and Richie Butler demanding that it be made illegal to abuse and misuse the national flag.

Get ready to crack those diaphragms.

Cllr Sheahan is calling for a national media campaign to lay out guidelines on how not to use the flag - it should not be draped on cars or boats; it should not be carried flat, but should always be carried aloft and free, except when used to drape a coffin. And if used to drape a coffin, the green should be at the head of the coffin.

Cllr Butler even went so far as to ask Chief Superintendent Gerry Mahon - a man who one assumes has enough to do as it is - if new laws can be brought in to arrest and prosecute people who have the temerity to wear the flag on their backs or engage in other forms of unpatriotic sodomy.

This would be infuriating if it wasn't so laughable.

Never mind that the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed in Article 40 of the constitution.

Never mind that at a time when the public eye is scrutinising the value for money it gets from public representatives, Cllr Sheahan and Cllr Butler are engaging in this mindless ranting while on taxpayer time.

Never mind that as drug abuse and poverty continue to drive up urban and rural crime rates, these men choose to concern the county's first joint policing committee meeting with table thumping over tattered tricolours.

But do they honestly think that hanging a flag on the wall of a pub merits arrest and prosecution? The last time I checked Ireland was a democratic society of laws and freedoms; a place where a citizen's right to protest by burning a flag is one of the core values that that same flag represents.

The flagrant abuse of power that was the Government's handling of the Brian Cowen painting fiasco and the ridiculous claim of 'incitement of hatred' was rightly treated with concern and anger.

But we're lucky in Limerick that when our local politicians choose to completely misinterpret why we have laws in this society, they give us a chance to laugh ourselves silly.

It is Friday, after all.


squid said...

It is election time. The signal to noise ratio from the political class is always going to be lower in the run up to an election.

Bock the Robber said...

Still, I wasn't too impressed to see the flag being used in the funeral of the criminal who acidentally shot himself last week.

Isambard Chalky Brunel said...

Perhaps, but I'd rather see the flag waved around by criminals than have codes of conduct dictated to us by the likes of Sheahan and Butler.