Happy Patriots Day

So here we are finally on the closing scene of what started last September when I was scratching out notes for the October’18 Frill-Bit on www.Broadsheet.ie.  While it might look that my time was wasted as they made the column redundant, it turns out that my go at the grand theme of Democracy had a mind of its own.

If anyone is to blame, it’s Jimmy Smyth.

I have always been an active volunteer for many things, but it was Jimmy that really shook up my responsibility as an Irish Citizen, and that’s what drove me beyond my usual playing grounds of local community and personal interests.

He lit a spark, like I was always loud and proud anyway, but he was partly responsible for this subsequent trio of columns treating how I decoded Citizenship and Democracy. 

Back then I didn’t realise my words were all that significant or important, or that I had any responsibility for ensuring they stood for something. It turns out some people took extreme exception to them, and to me.

In truth the journey from then to here has been traumatic, for both of us and our followers, friends and supporters, and in Jimmy’s case – fans; yet it has also been enlightening.

Back then I never noticed the insincerity that was displayed so blatantly and openly around me; like pissing on the street and me not paying it a bitta’ve attention.  I just walked past it.

I never would have believed loyalty and truth could be so easily crushed.  Or so comfortably denied.

I have also discovered old-fashioned traditional misogyny and chauvinism has been beefed up into something far more devious and Machiavellian.  Manys’ a time I’ve said, Jobs for the Boys; feck shur ye’ve all said it.

Now its Dog Eat Dog; rough, mangy and rabid – and stops at nothing.

We’ve all seen the fingers pointing at main-stream media, globalist baddies and professional politics as if tis all their fault for whatever the ‘cause is today, and I have seen others who were alienated by mainstream media and politics remain idle and let these bands of disrupters, distrusters and disfunction’ables do their dirty work for them; generating clickbait is the new cannon fodder.

They are the real deniers of truth and transparency; another form of corruption by the way, and they are all participants in a cover-up of their own.

This is a phoney war – this finger pointing and shabby shaming; and I know this, because all through life we all must work with who is in front of us to get any job done.  Ask a session player, ask a lawyer, ask a doctor, ask me?

I don’t get to pick an’ choose my clients or my employers – they choose me.

In the New Year just gone I spoke of how everyday populist culture, what appeals to the many, has been Hijacked; and before that I spoke about Democracy in more plainer terms

On the life of the teenager I never expected those early rough drafts to eventually see light in an environment as toxic, corrupt and artificially polarized as what I’m in breathing today.

When I began drafting this trilogy, I never envisaged this statement;

Nationalism is perverting your Patriotism.

Yet there it is, and tis pure ugly Dog eat Dog.

I have always understood that Patriotism is what unites us, not what divides us, or what isolates us, or what separates us; it is what makes us One. 

Nobody cared where you were from or how you got here when you sang Ole Ole Ole. 

Nobody cares what your religion is or isn’t when Shoulder to Shoulder.  

All that matters is that you are one of us and us we were One. 

A Winter of Nationalist xenophobic prejudice has demonstrated how easily hate and fear can be spread, and even develop muscle. 

Like, there is an ex-British Soldier picketing towns around this country to thwart their views about Asylum Seekers; and these are towns that this lad doesn’t even live in.

Of all people!  A man who served the biggest pillager of our population telling other people who should or shouldn’t be coming and going in your own parish.  Ah stop ffs; like how convenient is that for the main stream media to turn its back on everyone not them?

Nationalist spin’golism is being applied to groom you and your love about being Irish and being an Irish Citizen. 

The intention is to have you cave into its ugly desire to have its way with you.  Calling out such behaviour as ignorant and racist is way too easy a slur; it is simply not a deep enough truth that it hurts them.  Wake up sheeple – see I can use that too. 

I am not going to indulge what you believe, or I believe about the motives of Soros and other Globalist names and icons that are being fed to you like slops into a pigsty. 

But I will say this; the oldest and most successful globalist empire the World has ever seem is the Catholic Church, which is headquartered in its own City in Rome, yep, and has its own special immunity from all sorts of stuff.

When you listen to people who promote their Patreon account whilst telling you tales of Muslim gangs coming to Ireland to rape; ask yourself this – how many names in the Ryan Report sounded like they might be *Muslim? 

Whether you believe it or not, Diversity is a beautiful strength.  In market terms a diversified investment portfolio is treated as low risk and considered healthy.  In Company Law, minorities and minority interest have their own legal protections. 

Most Board minutes probably record minority opinion and or dissenting opinion to allow all participation to be documented.

Any political party in a Democracy, or any candidate in a democratically held election that informs the electorate that any one of us is less than them or is entitled to more rights than another is corrupt. 

Spin that whatever way ye want folks, but deliberately and wilfully presenting false information for a reward, such as another citizen’s vote, is corruption.    Dog eat Dog.

The list of signatories to the Proclamation, are well marked into songs, schools, streets, clubs and whatever-yer-having-yerself as being Patriots.  The same goes for the men and women that died in our name. Yet back in 1916 not one of them ever envisaged the Ireland we have today. 

Who among them would have expected an openly gay Taoiseach, or that women’s right to choose would be more that just a fact, it would be a State Care Service?

But I must believe, and this is why I kept this ‘piece till last, I have to believe;

that if they had that crystal ball – that every single one of those seven signatories in 1916 would still sign the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

Irish Patriots then and those along the way since didn’t die for a particular Irish DNA or Irish pigment;

They are our Patriots because this was what had to be done to ensure equality for future generations.

Anyone putting on a Green Jersey today to represent Ireland in any endeavor, Boxing, Rugby, Athletics, Ice-Skating, Shinty, Hockey, whatever yere having yerselves – represent all of us and they don’t think twice about it.

A thriving and healthy Democracy cannot ban or hinder free speech; but an open thriving and healthy Democracy has the capacity to bring out the best in all of us; our common decency for a society that is equal and one that opens opportunities for everyone.  Not just those we like the look of.

This is why Diversity must be treated as one of our biggest assets as a Democratic Republic.  Because it makes sure no one is allowed be treated less than the other, it may not seem like that, but that is our job as Citizens to put right, and hold people to account. This phony war I mentioned earlier, ask yourselves, who has the most to gain from it?

The homeless families sitting in a hotel room out along the M50 watching the Paddys’ day Parade on the Telly and cursing at the Politicians posing from the stands?

Or those same Politicians who are actually engaged to ensure there is safe and secure housing for anyone that seeks it?

We need to call out this phony war for what it is. A distraction. An Excuse. A Gig. We need to wade through this phony war and get a grip of this Country, and our elected Politicans and make them and it work, for all of us.

So do not give in lightly to the winds of Nationalism or the scam artists grooming your fears; put up a fight, stand tall and stop at nothing to protect the Patriotism of Equality so that it survives and outlives all of us. 

Happy Patriots day everyone.


This will be my last column under the name of Frilly Keane. I need to close the door on that last battle and focus and rebuild for the War. There are bigger and more important days ahead. Besides, there is no point creating stuff for Broadsheet when they’ve no room for it. #KillFrill has been achieved; For Now

Btw I was being deliberately narrow minded and obtuse by generalising the named and shamed in the Ryan Report to another single religion.  So please don’t take offence.


So, the first of 2019, ‘pity it has t’be this one tho’ – a Frill-Bit I never saw myself crafting ….. SPOILER ALERT!   ….. It contains the expression ‘Populism.’

In hindsight, which I suppose is the best sight, but now with the benefit of it, that first Frill Bit of 2018 comes across as so determined, personal and clear of conscience that reading it is kinda mortifying – like WTF was I thinking;  2018 the Year for Brave Hearts. 

Considering where I am now, could I have been anymore ingratiatingly grandstanding and assuming?

I suppose you could say Repealing the 8th Amendment had a breakthrough momentousness about it, and as I type this there are girls inquiring about seeking a termination in their own towns and parishes; did you think that would be the reality this time last year?

But it wasn’t brave; it was due, it was right, and it was above all else, about time.

The outcome of that count was, amongst other things, a demonstration that Citizens make a difference, the Irish electorate weren’t bought with prayers or by life-size posters, nor were they swayed by bad actors or buckets of blood.  They knew what choice meant and they knew their vote counted.

I never thought of that day as being the end of an expedition, or thought of myself as some sort of self-righteous pilgrim; like I wasn’t singing or crying or hugging or an’ting.  Although I knew for sure that the road had definitively levelled a bit more favourably towards women, and equality was becoming a matter of fact and less an ideal, or something you had to access by way of the Courts, or mobilise a few marches for.

I remember someone asking me “what’s next” and in the days after I came out with this; Everyday People.

Looking back on the year that was, 2018, well most ov’it anyway, was full of great days, new ideas, friends, voices and record-breaking weather, yet it came to a close in a damp mouldy bog of failure, intolerance and cowardice.  2018 got Hijacked.

Hijacked by lazy insipid Politicians who didn’t like the mirror back at them, so they settled into the comfort a prefaced title grants them; Councillor, Senator, Deputy, Minister, President…. At all levels, we The Everyday People, were failed. 

Democratically elected Politicians that showboated on nothing more than thin air still got what they wanted just by abstaining from representing anyone other than their Party whips, or their own self-importance.   After delivering a significant mandate, that was both loud and proud in May, by October our Democracy allowed itself to be hijacked by those who only listen to the sound of their own voice as they sought out a greasy route for themselves.

Throughout all its 12 months, 2018 showed signs of Populism – since that’s what we’re calling it now; from returning dragons looking to make an imprint to yellow vests, loudhailers and balaclavas looking for somewhere to be seen.

Populism is supposed to be the umbrella over what generally appeals to the grassroots of society; the majority, The Everyday peopleFor instance, Populism is what established Dirty Den and Ange as the historic telly event its generally recognised as.   

In fact, whether you like it or not, the popularity of 2018’s Baby Shark is a result of populism.

No matter what its genre or premise is, if its capable of catching on, its populist.

However this old-style Populism has been hijacked, originally by those seeking to explain President Trump’s success.  However, we ourselves, who should know better having had a ringside seat to Brexiteers and their Lobbies, have been too quick with it to term and style the widening columns of far-right Nationalism and the growing brigades of White Supremacists. 

I’m not pretending Ireland was immune from imported prefabricated prejudice, we were always easily led by inflamed brimstoned rhetoric based on fantasy. Nonetheless, ignorant bigoted racism is now handily pre-packaged as Populist which only makes it easier to spread without the small print being visible.

We were always Prone to giving shameless vulgar mouth pieces too much access on our airwaves and too much reverence in our communities.  Today though, and 2018 is proof of this change; clumsy self-promoters when denied all of that unobstructed access just sue, or merely threaten it, and then progress themselves thru other platforms ie. social media; wherein they find their compost heaps.

However, this conveniently redrawn Populism has nothing to do with what appeals to the many, it is about coercing the easily influenced; those that have found themselves along the side-lines of life, those for whom Facebook is their community grounds.  Those that are not considered as relevant by a Dublin centric Government and its Leader; those that are ripe for persuasion. 

Leo Varadkar along with his collectives, colleagues, enablers and fellow decision makers are what I call the safe sets.  They will always be middle class and will always be home owners.  They will always have access to education, healthcare and opportunity; which allows our Government and Media look down their noses at any one voice that is not of their own, and gloat even harder when it goes badly wrong. 

I refuse to refer to this sect of fellow Citizens as the elite; I actually hate the use of that expression, even more so now that it has been weaponised by other fellow Citizens as the root of their own negative, and in many cases, misguided activism. 

We have seen it all over Ireland this Autumn Winter of 2018.  Splinter leaders with self-anointing charisma, sloganeering fighting talk, but nothing by way of credentials, talent or substance, or even genuine popularity; just like Trump.  They have stoked up bands of believers into thinking they have a special insight into the truth.  But the truth of what? Or more importantly, whose truth? 

So far, all I’m able establish is that its only what they want to hear kinda truths.

What were once harmless, even charming in their own way, old fashioned conspiracy theorists, have ended up dragooned into this virulent mob, a mob who were already predisposed for extremist and intolerant suggestion; shouting mantras of rants they simply cannot stand over or even defend as their own. As long as it’s catchy they’ll hum it, like an ear worm. That’s what we’re now to call Populism.

Our sense of Justice, Respect for Democracy and Equality, all of that we saw in May during the Repeal Referendum, has been Hijacked. 

Drip feeding carefully formulated questions is not exposing any truth, its merely a cheap device to propagate distrust.  It is false flag campaigning deliberately deployed to drill lines of division between Citizens, friends and colleagues, and for only one purpose; so that xenophobic propaganda can grow a base and subsequently followers for another outsider.

If you want the truth, then let’s start by getting it right.  Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Choice, Anti-Government, Anti-Vax, Anti-What-Ever yer having yerselves – give over; it’s nothing short of Black PR from individuals seeking fealty from those that will never be party to the cosy cartels of the main stream safe sets anyway, and usually by those who have been shunned by those same safe sets; yet, would be back amongst them in a heartbeat.

I don’t care how many troll accounts they have at their disposal, or how festeringly fertile their spawning grounds are or how loud they shout. 

I’m going nowhere 2019. Come and get me.