We know this from the plays of Friel, McGuiness and O’Casey. We know this from having had our fingers pressed forcibly down on the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy in 2008, when it cost the Irish taxpayer 30 billon Euros just to stave off financial chaos.
So I’m fascinated by the unequal way that our outrage can get parceled out once another big bill comes due. Like most things in life, how you feel about this undeniably grave threat to the peace process seems to depend a great deal on where you stand.
It seems to me the majority of people grandstanding on this issue have lived far away from its center. They may have forgotten or never appreciated just how hard it was to win that peace.
They may not remember the hard bargains that were struck to make it stick. They may not like the idea that peace does not always arrive with justice, or that living with that brutally hard compromise may be better than the alternative.