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Ireland's new, great calamity - time for diaspora to intervene

Something's gone wrong, hasn't it? Deeply, unimaginably wrong.

The news reports lay the facts out for you: how the Irish bankers and property developers lost the run of themselves, how the Irish government looked the other way, and how the Irish taxpayers got stuck with the bill.

We're over-familiar with the plot and its consequences at this point. But it's still only half the story. There's a story that's happening in every town and village in Ireland but isn't being reported in the papers yet.

It's hard to assess a moment of history whilst it's still unfolding, but this is a moment to try. Ireland's facing a crisis of almost unprecedented proportions, on almost every front: politically, economically, socially - and, since everything connects - spiritually. And here's the lesson of the last few years: it won't fix itself.

If we've learned anything in the past few years it's this - don't just leave it to the Irish political establishment to produce a result different from the ones they always have. The times are asking - in fact they're demanding - a solution that's politically far reaching than just sleepwalking into a Fine Gale/Labour coalition.

If there's ever been a time we disrupt the reflexive conservatism of our political parties it's now, because it was precisely that kind of small time thinking got us into this mess.

If there's ever been a time for us to grapple with our recent history and plot a new future for our nation it's now.

The time has come for the Diaspora to intervene and help determine the political and economic direction of our homeland. That mean's amending the law to vote in general elections. But that's only a start.

It's quite hard to see at this moment in time, but those spendthrift banks and property developers and those Irish politicians have done something so profound and far reaching to Irish society that it staggers the senses: they've created a moment of crisis and calamity in Ireland the like of which has not been seen since the 19th century.

It's as bad as that. It's time we said so. It's time for us all to get involved.

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