"And I say to my people's masters: Beware,

Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people,..",

Patrick Pearse

There are many tin pot dictators sleeping less easily in their beds tonight with Pearse's thought in mind.

Democracy is the reason we have not seen similar riots as Egypt and Tunisia in Ireland where a massively unpopular government has clung on by their fingernails for far too long.

But the Irish people know they will have their say, most likely on February 25th and they will be waiting in the long grass to deliver their verdict on this government.

It will be dramatic but it will be achieved with a violent protest anywhere.

What we are witnessing in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere is a great stirring of peoples for too long under the control of despots.

In Egypt the people have had no democratic outlet as Mubarak has ruled by emergency decree for 30 years now. elections are a farce and young people are utterly hopeless.

Yet, lest we feel smug it is not that long ago when Ireland teetered between democracy and a form of fascism. After the Civil War the Cumann Na Gaedhal government took power and five years later lost it to their deadly enemies in that civil war.

There were some who counseled then leader Wiliam T. Cosgrave not to concede and to stage a coup.

To his eternal credit he did not and handed over power peacefully.

Here in America there were many who wanted George Washington to proclaim himself king but he stood with the constitution and stepped down.

Democracy is a fragile flower. great European powers such as Germany, Spain, Portugal all experienced dictatorships in the recent past.

Turkey, once ruled by a military junta, is now a flourishing democracy and an example for all Muslim nations that a vigorous democracy is possible.

Eastern Europe was recently one big gulag before communism fell.

In Tianamen Square in 1989 they created lookalikes of the Statue of Liberty to signify their desire for freedon.

Even today China's rulers remain petrified of any democratic expression.

Hopefully there will be a few less dictatorships in the Middle East when all this is over. we should not fear that change but rather embrace it.