What Can You Say After You Say You’re Sorry?

How about goodbye?

The Limeys owned up to being killers the other day, apologizing for Bloody Sunday back in Belfast in 1972 when their boys murdered a few filthy Catholics for standing up and saying they had no right to be in Ireland in the first place.  Only took them 38 years, but what’s that?

It’s been more than 900 years since they started using the Irish for target practice, or starving them when they weren’t up to shooting, burning, hanging and deporting them, and filling the country up with crooks and criminals who were only too happy to shoot, loot, burn and beat Irishmen, women and children at any available opportunity.

Now, I figure well begun is not yet done.  So how about we hear an apology for The Famine?  How about a little, “Oops, our bad,” for the murders of priests and slaughter of Catholics by the Prods during the Penal law days?  How about owning up that they owe the country something for all the land, cattle, wood and people stolen away during those 900 years of benevolent mayhem committed in the name of “lebensraum”.

How about they go all the way back to the beginning, to the only British Pope, Adrian IV, who gave the place away to Henry II, the same guy who had Thomas a Becket martyred, so that he could keep it safe for Catholicism.  That’s like some chief  mullah over in Iran writing to Ahmadinijad telling him it’s just fine to take over Kuwait and make it a nation of Muslims.

You don’t believe me?  Read the first paragraph of the Papal letter saying, “Go ahead.  It’s all yours. Take it whenever you have a few moments to spare.”

Did you know some clown of a Brutish general (that’s no typo) was caught saying that during the Troubles  about 600 British soldiers were killed on duty in Ireland.  (Notice I don’t use the term Northern Ireland.)  There was a way that all of those lives could have been saved.  They could have been kept where they belonged, marching up and down before Bucky Palace in silly hats and tight red pants guarding some old bag’s collection of bonnets and purses and long white gloves.  So 600 hundred guys who shouldn’t have been there to begin with were killed.  They should have apologized for that, too, and for the 3600 other people who were killed.

I read that the great “We’re Sorry” was spoken the day before “Bloomsday”.  Bloomsday is a day that commemorates Leopold Bloom’s wanderings about Dublin.  Leo is the Ulysses in Joyce’s novel which is called by some the greatest novel written in English.  That’s funny, you know for dozens of reasons.

But here’s a few reasons that make me laugh.  Joyce was Irish.  He couldn’t stand the place and ran away to live in France and die there.  An Irishman doesn’t write this great novel in his native language, Irish, because it wasn’t much of a language any more.  Who’s gonna buy and read a book like his if he writes it in Irish, he might have figured, a few hundred or so pig farmers down in the bog?  I don’t even know if he knew enough Irish to do it for all of his legendary intelligence and wit.

Joyce was supposed to have been fluent in eight or nine languages.  But he doesn’t write in Irish because the English had pretty near destroyed it by the time he comes along.  And Ulysses gets itself banned in Boston, that hangout for Anglophiles who once tried to ban anyone Irish.  That’s funny, too.

Here’s a saying in Irish for you all to think about while your sipping some tea and saying how gracious and humble the Brutish have finally become, “Tir gan teanga, tir gan anim.”  It means, “A land without a tongue is a land without a soul.”  Now, that’s funny to me.

I know a little bit of Irish, not enough to write a book, but a little bit.  Here’s what I say in Irish about the Brutish apology, “Pog mo thoin!”

They should apologize for Ian Paisley.


14 responses to “What Can You Say After You Say You’re Sorry?

  1. Gabriel Austin

    The English pope Hadrian IV [Nicholas Breakspear] did indeed encourage the English king Henry II to bring Ireland under the English crown. But the bull authorizing this, Laudabiliter, has never been found, and is thought to be dubious.

    • Hello Gabriel,

      Well, however it happened, one Englishman gave another Englishman permission to move in and take over. Parse it any which way and you still come up with something wrong, especially since Ireland at the time was a Christian country. My Polish friends understand.

  2. Kathy McGlaughlin

    Hmm. I am somewhat perturbed by this one.

    I guess because I think of the cry that African Americans still raise against all of us other Americans over slavery.

    While I am sorry that slavery happened, I am sorry for the enormous suffering it caused, besides saying I’m sorry, what should I do? Say good-bye? To what? To who?

    Holding a nation of people responsible for the the wrong-doing of either government or individuals within that nation forever — no, at some point it seems to me, it must end.

    • Hello Kathy,

      I understand your sentiments, here, but think that the comparison does not work. And the reason for that is simple. While slavery is ended, the British still occupy and claim as part of their own six counties of Ireland.

  3. Although tangential to your theme – you didn’t refer to BP and the oil spill – I don’t think “sorry” is all the the US are asking in this case. I note that a non-Limey outfit call Halliburton supplied the concrete materials that collapsed, causing this disaster in the first palce. I am waiting for their “sorry”, or a reference from that loquacious media savvy president to how much they are going to have to pay. Fair’s fair, eh!

    • Hello Terry,

      Halliburton shows up a number of places that don’t bear much looking at. They’re a “Chinatown” kind of company to my way of thinking; scary, really.

      Well, not as scary as His Hopefulness.

      And you are right. There’s more than one skulldugger in that mess down there. I’m curious about the platform itself, and keep wondering about how come it folded like an erector set.

      But, it is tangential to my theme

  4. > > That article was a pleasure to read and needed saying. Thanks to the author from me and my deceased father who grew up in Dublin and was beaten as a teenager by the Black and Tans for being out after curfew. Thanks also from my father’s deceased older brother who was imprisoned in Mount Joy prison because of his activities with an Irish cultural organization called the IRA which did what they could to hasten the departure of the English from Ireland.

    • Hello Ron,

      Your experience is not too different from mine. I forgot the Black and Tans, a wonderful device of the devil if ever there was any. My father’s mother wept often for the way they treated her brother. My mother-in-law told of the times she witnessed them beating the Catholic boys in her little town for carrying rosaries and prayer books.


  5. Peter, I do not question the accuracy of your report, but I am bit disturbed by the intensity of your anger. Your vitrol colors but detracts from your argument. It seems to me your Christian hurt passes over to an unchristian passion.

    Your writings reflect a deep spirituality, but without being judgmental I would suggest you look at your anger and apply some Christian virtue. The expression: “What angers you controls you” is quite accurate.

    Anyway that is my 2 cents. I share the regret but I try to let go. Fr. Simeon

    • Hello Father Simeon,

      I always welcome your presence.

      I am sure that the Prime Minister of Britain sincerely meant his apology to the people of Ireland for the murders on that day. I have not been able to find out if the report on the action suggests or will lead to any prosecutions; or if they are possible.

      That might be a good thing. For the rest of the matter of British dealings with Ireland and the Irish, I feel only sadness for the past.

      What exercised me particularly, was the statement I referred to from the general. There are many people who do not seem to understand. They are the one who might look at the matter of slavery in this country and say, “Yeah, but….”

      I should remember what a philosophy professor once told me, “In the great boarding house of the universe the pancakes butter and syrup never come out even.”


  6. Hello Fr. Simeon:
    In reading your reply I was struck by your statement “….without being judgmental….” you then proceed to pass judgment on the author by exercising a holier than thou judgmental approach. Anger is a proper response to tyranny and state sponsored terrorism and apparently Jesus Christ also thought his anger was a proper response when he threw the money changers out of the temple. We should remember that those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past.

    • Hello Ron,

      While I am not at all trying to defend Father’s comment (as a matter of fact I don’t think he’d wish me to defend him or his comment) I do think I should point out that I didn’t find it a judgment of what I wrote at all. Nor do I think that he erred in his assessment of anger and its effect.

      His advice was the same advice that we have been given for quite a long while. As a matter of fact the primary example we have is the Passion. If ever someone should have been justified in their anger…well.

      And who should be the party to apologize for that, I wonder?

      Anyway, I do understand why you wrote what you wrote, and why you feel what you feel on the matter. So to a large extent does Father Daly.

      Thank you for your comment.


      PS: Where I respectfully disagree with him is in the matter of those who will insist on “pleading guilty with an explanation”; or asking that in exchange for their plea on one count, the rest of the indictment be dismissed.

  7. Well said Peter. I am reminded of the comment that the Irish only fight with the Irish because that is the only way they can be sure of the quality of their opponents.
    Nothing personal Father Daly. God bless you.
    Ron McEvoy

    • I am glad you agree. My friend Terry will forgive me if I use the word, and employ the concept, tangential, but your remark about Irish fighting omits the many Gypo Nolans among us. It is perhaps the primary reason the sasenach was able to get so far and stay so long, unwelcome in the parlor. As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, all of us are Gypo on some level, and he all of us., “Oh, felix culpa,” as it is said.

      Coming down to it, Father’s comment is the only correct one.

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