The case for a national holiday
When we are angry, we look for an object, person or event to direct that anger. That’s human nature and understandable. However, we can’t change the past but we can change the future. Celebrating our freedom from the oppressive rule rather than directing towards something we can’t change is the sentiment of this day. While we looked to assert our Independence through force of arms over the centuries it was won in the end peacefully through the election ballot. To be peaceful we have to teach peace. To teach peace we have to be peaceful in nature and action.
Independence day is celebrated globally as a joyous event and this should be no exception. While we pay our respects to those who came before us we focus now on those who will come after, our future leaders, our children. What kind of country would we like our kids to grow up in?
We are proposing that the 21st of January each year should be marked unwaveringly as a national holiday much the same as July 4 is in America.
A day that celebrates a 32-county unity on this island. A day to rejoice as we express our unique culture, traditions and our freedoms. A day of music and story-telling, a day for families and friends to get together.
Look at how global the religious feast of St. Patrick has become globally. Imagine what an independence day holiday would do for tourism, hospitality and travel?
Another day off?
Did you know that Irish workers are among the most productive in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yet have the least statutory holidays? Did you know that the European average is 11 and we lie second last with 9 public holidays a year? Finland, with 15, and Malta and Spain, with 14, have more than a full working week off than Irish workers.
What productivity? What are we producing more of? What happened to the time that all our devices were supposed to save us? Where is that being used (as the animals on Animal Farm.
asked when they were told that the windmill would mean that they would have more leisure time)? Interestingly it seems that less is more as businesses and organisations have found that a four-day week is a win-win for employees and employers, as it leads to a better work-life balance and increased productivity.