Throughout their captivity, the Irish seamen consistently refused to sign an agreement to become freie Arbeiter – voluntary workers ‑ for the German Reich. In early 1943 they were again segregated, and thirty-two of them ‑ including William ‑ were moved by the Gestapo to Bremen Farge ….
Many jobs in Germany are, compared to those available in Ireland in the first years of the new millennium, very poorly paid and usually contract-based. The younger middle classes were also well informed through newspaper and television reports about happenings in Ireland and the “Celtic Tiger” phenomenon. In 2007, a TV documentary on the Franco-German Arte channel on what was sceptically referred to as the “Irish economic miracle” featured a very young Irish banker who, speaking in front of the IFSC in Dublin, told his audience that Germany, and Angela Merkel, were jealous of Ireland’s economic performance.
Yet one measure of just how disorientating the global financial crisis has been for the world’s bien pensant elite is that Argentina’s economic history no longer just serves as a warning but simultaneously as an example for those countries in the developed world seeking to escape the wreckage left by of the crash of September 2008. For every commentator who finds toxic fallout from the South American country’s unprecedented sovereign default in December 2001 there is another ready to ignore it and laud strong economic growth since then as proof that there is indeed life after burning your bondholders.
Over and over again Hutchinson, who always champions the cultures that are forced to the edge by the centres of power, makes the disappearance of the Irish language his theme. In the same poem an old man points to his glass filled with stout and says: ‘Is lú í an Ghaeilge ná an t-uisce sa ngloine sin.’ – ‘Irish is worth less than the water in that glass:’
She had the requisite beauty, but what made her both unique and compelling was that this was joined to a passionate involvement in Irish nationalist politics (his one real rival for Maud, as Yeats accurately recognises). They met, after all, at the house of the Fenian leader John O’Leary; and their relationship throughout the 1890s drew Yeats into an increased involvement in nationalist politics, best incarnated when Maud played the title role in Yeats and Gregory’s Cathleen ni Houlihan of 1902. The third element Yeats was attracted to, in Hassett’s view, was her Ascendancy pedigree, as strongly emerges when he berates her for converting to Catholicism in order to marry Major John McBride.