The New York Times has added to its coverage of the populist backlash against consumer water charges in Ireland. Under the headline “A New Irish Rebellion, This Time Against Water Fees,” the Times reports:
… some experts say that the protests are far from over, reflecting growing fatigue with austerity policies that have taken a toll on most families, even as the economy has recovered to the point that it is the fastest-growing in Europe. Many expect a widespread refusal to pay when the bills are sent out in April.
Some form of the word “protest” is used 11 times in the 1,200-word story. Despite the provocative headline, however, there is no mention of next year’s centennial of the 1916 Rising, or other Irish rebellions.
I was reminded of a Times editorial from April 1916, shortly after the Rising, which I found while researching my book about my immigrant grandfather. Remember, this is the generally anti-Irish, anti-Catholic, anti-Tammany Hall Times of the late 19th and early 20th century. While Tammany is gone, I’d argue the Times’ anti-Catholic bias remains.
Regardless, here’s what the newspaper said 99 years ago:
Ireland in a state of rebellion is Irish. Her history emerges from myths and legends of which the very theme was strife … a logical projection of her special feud with life. … Rebellion has been the chronic, almost to say the natural, condition of Ireland, being now and then only a little more acute than usual.