The Continuing Story of Óglaigh na hÉireann, by Kevin Higgins

The military wing of the Social Democracy stride out

The military wing of the Social Democracy stride out in half-regalia

All around the snot-nosed parishes of Ireland

small people of both genders, and neither,

are flapping open

copies of The Sunday O’Duffy

getting worried

about the continued existence

of the Citizen Army, Fenian Brotherhood,

Official IRA.

We can’t have

parties who perspire to government

secretly controlled by cabals

of men (and ladies) whose faces

we never see; apart from those

faces prescribed by prevailing winds

and the agreed rules

of the European Union,

which we need never see

but rest eternally assured

are there. Or thereabouts.

The only weaponry allowed

those seeking elected office

are five piece suits to help little

men appear substantial,

and no more than six

plastic chairs on which the faithful can

every other month gather

to recite the Our Father,

or discuss the rising

price of sewage.

Even

the Social Democrats must come clean

about the continued non-existence

of their army council, and what role precisely

Fintan O’Toole plays in its

military high command.

A mature democracy like ours

needs parties whose manifestos

political correspondents

with excellent haircuts (and none) can safely

spread across their living room floors

and roll around naked on

without fear of being interrupted

by men and women wearing

illegally held

balaclavas.

KEVIN HIGGINS is the Bogmans Cannon Satirist in Residence

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