This last week the Northside has lost one of her most noted sons, and while I would be of a very different political persuasion, I recognise the depth of genuine human emotion that many people feel at this time. As it is well known he said of himself
"I have done the state some service and they know't. No more of that."
but the piece goes on to say ask us
"I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;"
At such times, we should not be quick to parcel up a life into mere pluses and minuses like some bookkeeper adding sums to see if the credit and debit balance out, but rather should look at a life as a whole thing. We should speak of him as he was, splendidly right at times, the building of the IFSC, free travel, and horrendously wrong others, opposition to the Anglo-Irish agreement, failure to tackle the national finances, being dependent on the largesse of others. The state too has done him some service too, and he know’t, No more of that. The greatest justice we, as Gaels, can ask for any life is for people to tell the whole tale, to leave nothing out and let the future draw its judgement where it may.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis!