Half built Anglo Irish HQ got Romantic Irelandised on Paddy's day with September 1913

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This blog contains a complete set of the photos of the guerilla art exhibition boards drilled onto the hoarding outside the half completed Anglo HQ on Patricks day 2012. Anglo was the property developers bank which crashed in 2008 and because the Irish government choose to bail it out left every person in the republic in debt to the tune of 26,000.

The 30 panels make up the lyrics of William Butler Yeats poem September 1913. On the morning of Paddy Day an anonymous crew of artists attached about 30 panels to the hoarding in front of the half built intended HQ for Anglo bank. I wasn't sure  how long it will be allowed to stay in place so I cycled down the following morning and took photos of all the panels - you'll find them in the slide show at the end of this blog.

The artists described their purpose as follows "Romantic Ireland: From The Streets' is an exhibition of art work hung at Anglo Irish HQ, North Wall Quay, Dublin. Anglo Irish Bank was a central player in the madness that went on in this country. This site is an exceptionally appropriate and evocative symbol of the audacity shown in the previous 20 years and the results of that audacity. We own this building through NAMA therefore no permission need be sought to use it. Nobody sought permission to spend our taxes on private debt."  They also released the video below. 

The poem is 1913 by Yeats, full text is below.  1913 saw an attempt by the Dublin employers to destroy the radical syndicalist ITGWU union by locking out any members who refused to sign a pledge not to be a member of the union.  The strike started when on August 26th the tram drivers and conductors walked out of their trams leaving them on the streets whereever they were at the time.  This was during the week of the Dublin Horse Show, the major annual outing of the high and mighty.  While doing family research my mother recently discovered I'd a great uncle on my Dad's side who was arrested for putting a brick through a tram window on the first day of the lock out.

The lockout lasted until 18 January 1914 when the workers were starved back to work.  Many union activists however were not allowed to return to work and found they were on an employer blacklist.  This drove many of them to join the Dublin Fusiliers in order to survive with the result that they were sent to France when war broke out and many, like James Moore, were killed during the war.

As I've mentioned before I like Yeat's poems from this period despite his later assocation with the far right.  He had a short lived association with the Blue shirts during which he composed three marching songs and met O'Duffy several times.  But in September 1913 and later in A Terrible Beauty in Born he expressed something that continues to resonate today.  

September 1913

What need you, being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone;
For men were born to pray and save;
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Yet they were of a different kind,
The names that stilled your childish play,
They have gone about the world like wind,
But little time had they to pray
For whom the hangman's rope was spun,
And what, God help us, could they save?
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Was it for this the wild geese spread
The grey wing upon every tide;
For this that all that blood was shed,
For this Edward Fitzgerald died,
And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
All that delirium of the brave?
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Yet could we turn the years again,
And call those exiles as they were
In all their loneliness and pain,
You'd cry `Some woman's yellow hair
Has maddened every mother's son':
They weighed so lightly what they gave.
But let them be, they're dead and gone,
They're with O'Leary in the grave.
 

Comments

WOW ;-) and what a tune

WOW ;-) and what a tune Thankyou more beauty on a gorgeous day X

Tune is by Cork band FRED -

Tune is by Cork band FRED - The Life Behind

quie ironic 'anarchists'

quie ironic 'anarchists' quoting yeats

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