I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Home Uncategorized Patrick Pearse Predicts the Future

Patrick Pearse Predicts the Future

Bryan Fanning
On August 4th, 1906, in An Claidheamh Soluis, which translates as the sword of light (or light sabre), Patrick Pearse wrote a piece in English imagining the Ireland of 2006. He was dozing one evening in his garden when the postman arrived, laid a bundle of letters and papers on the table and saluted him. “You have Irish?” Pearse replied. He had not known that any of the local post office staff spoke Irish. “To be sure I have, Sir,” the postman replied with a note of surprise in his voice. “If I hadn’t it’s a small chance I’d have of my present job.” This was the first sign that there was something was amiss, or all too right. Pearse took the postman’s remark as a piece of sarcasm but then he noticed the man’s uniform. It was a very neat dark green. On the collar in small letters of white metal was the cryptic inscription P na hE. It stood for Post na hÉireann, the postman explained with a note of surprise as he departed. The narrator turned to his bundle of post. Every item was addressed in Irish. The familiar pencilled translation into English of Irish addresses was absent. The postmarks too were in Irish. Puzzled, he picked up a copy of An Claidheamh Soluis from the bundle. It was larger than usual. Every word was in Irish. Advertisements and all! An Claidheamh was now a daily broadsheet. The issue in his hand was dated August 4th, 2006. Fearing this was a dream he wasted no time in gleaning as much about twenty-first century Ireland as possible. One article announced the opening of the Oireachtas (Parliament) by the Ard-Rí (High King) at a ceremony to be attended by the Emperor of the French and the President of the Russian Republic. There would be a royal procession from the Palace of the Nation ‑ dignitaries followed by detachments of the National Guard (Fianna Éireann in Irish) and the Boy-Corps of the Palace down Sráid Dhomhnaill Uí Chonnail (Daniel O’Connell Street) and across O’Connell Bridge. The ministries and other public buildings along the route would be decorated. There was no mention of the General Post Office. Dignitaries in the procession would include the president and officers of the Gaelic League, the adjudicator and officials of the Oireachtas, members of the Irish Academy and the Bards in their robes. When the procession reached the Hyde monument…

Advertisement

booksupstairs.ie

Dublin’s Oldest Independent BookshopBooks delivered worldwide