Socrates and Boris:
I am very neglectful. My friend hasn’t had a visit for such a long time. He sits down in the Botanic Gardens looking thoughtful but somewhat forlorn. Some people think he looks like me. He is sometimes quoted. “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” He sent me that text last evening. Yes. Socrates has a mobile! He even suggested that Hamlet should be listened to. “To thine own self, be true.” In our exchanges he went on to quote Jn 18. 38. “Truth said Pilate. What is that?” All of which surfaced in our discussion. Someone must have given Socrates a Tablet to watch the House of Commons discuss the Report from the Privileges Committee on Boris Johnson. (Monday, 19th June 2023). Did Boris lie to the House? He did according to the Committee. After Socrates called me I had to have a quick look at some of the Debate.
The House of Commons and Truth:
Penny Mordaunt, Therese May and Harriet Harman were most impressive. On truth and how it matters. In some ways I felt sad for Boris. He is so flamboyant. He adds colour to political life. But he isn’t familiar with the truth and then sulks when anyone doubts him. That is sad. Max Hastings sacked him from The Daily Telegraph. For making up stories. Matthew Parris eviscerated him. For a lifetime of lying. There is a wish to save Boris from himself. But it seems impossible. And yet somehow, he has supporters who believe in him. That is the most serious issue. Like Trump, he has his fans. He can do no wrong. The supporters are the real enemies of democracy. Donald wouldn’t accept the election result. He incited the riot at the Capital on 6th January. He interfered in Georgia. He paid off some women. He abused E Jean Carroll. His business dealing was suspect. And still people refuse to see the obvious. Sadly, Boris and Donald have too much in common and do not know themselves.
The man from Finglas: (Christy).
Christy Dignam; A rock legend. Yes. But more than that. He was an ordinary man from Finglas. He did his final tour on Saturday (17th June 2023) morning around Finglas. We have had a few characters from Finglas. Brendan O’Carroll. Bono. Dermot Bolger. Niamh Kavanagh. Paula Meehan. Paul Durkan. But Christy was different. He was down in Oliver Plunkett’s a few years ago for the Hospice concert. He sang Raglan Road. Kiera sang there too. Paula Meehan read her poetry. She spoke. It was Finglas folk surrounding the bereaved; those who had gone. There was warmth and heart. That is the story. That is our continuing story.
This too is Christy Dignam. It is amusing and strange. Michael D Higgins spoke of Christy. The Party leaders spoke of Christy. He was one of us, here in Finglas. He was proud of the clay on his roots. This Finglas man. He puffed out his chest and gave everyone an opportunity to do likewise. He suffered. He fell. He got back up. He sang. He talked. He told stories. He remained one of us. He oozed humanity, humour and honesty. That was Christy. He belonged to everyone. Everyone felt he was part of their lives. He never became a star even though he was a star. He suffered. He was raw, real and relatable.
He was just a simple man: (Christy).
His story was our story. Kathryn (wife) spoke of Christy’s dying. Their hands together. Their song. She sang. Those two fourteen-year olds from way back in Finglas West. This pair were forty years married. Kiera and the grandchildren. That was what was really important. Kiera sang How Great Thou Art. (Christy used to sing that in the Choir). Celtic Football team. Simple life. A rock legend. Yes. A star yes. A fallen star. Betimes. But very real. A man of the family. A proud Finglas man. His song goes on. Our song goes on. He was proud of Finglas. He wants us to show that pride. And to sing our song. It was good to be part of his farewell and to be with the family.
These days – nothing much happening!!
It was just an ordinary day or week. The Confirmations have (at last) been concluded. The Accountant is pestering me for clarification on the year’s account. I detest any time spent on such things but someone has to do it. The lawnmower people are clamouring for attention. The solicitor urgently needs immediate documentation. There is a call for yet another Meeting to prepare for a Review of the year, working as an enlarged parish. The new PPC team has to meet also. Masses accumulate and need work. Three Funerals need to be prepared. Every family is very different. Some wild, wicked and wonderful. Some quiet but insistent. Most without any clue on how to arrange a Funeral. All depending on our experience and expertise. It is privileged and demanding and holy. Most haven’t an idea what Mass has to do with a funeral. Or what Mass means. But nonetheless something mysterious is happening. We are let in as guests of the family. We come into the heart of the folklore in that family. It is blessed. A throwaway comment was made by a passer-by, ‘Why can’t you say roughly the same for every funeral? There is no need for anything new.’ Untrue. Every person and every family deserves reverence and respect. Their story has to be told. It has to find a place in the mystery of life. It takes a long time to prepare a Funeral properly. However, it is almost impossible to follow up on the families afterwards……. 310 funerals in the year……………………
Seamus Ahearne osa 20th June 2023.