“Hello Dublin! Hello Ireland! My name is ‘Barack Obama...er, I mean Enda Kenny’ ”.... no doubt an upcoming event will warrant the use of an Obama speech in the near future by our beloved Taoiseach.
Set the scene – Ireland 2011- one (of many) frustrated graduates whose education may as well be deemed redundant in the current economic climate. The dole queue vs. the boarding pass vs. a job (they are out there) but one which fails to utilise the time, energy and money invested in your education, ‘a world class education’ according to American President, Barack Obama. The education I received was never the problem Barack! The level of education would have ensured I was well placed in the working world 5 years ago – An honours degree and a first class honours masters from a prestigious Irish business school would have undoubtedly been a guaranteed ticket into employment, and more importantly, your dream job!
What’s my problem?
It infuriates me that it takes the American President a mere 23 minutes, during the course of his speech at College Green to inspire the younger generation, the future of the country.
It infuriates me that our own Taoiseach felt that it was fitting to utilise Obama’s words, from his infamous election speech, and not his own to inspire the nation.
It infuriates me that Enda Kenny delivered that speech like he was commentating a local GAA football match.
It infuriates me that with a mass audience present and television viewership tuned in, after 76 days in office; this truly was your national and international platform to influence the young generation, the future of this country, and the future leaders of the country. Did you offer any solace to the unemployed young graduates, the bright futures of whom have been darkened by actions of former politicians, former leaders, and poor decisions. This was your moment Enda!
On such a podium, you failed to reach out a younger generation, a generation of highly educated graduates. Another wasted opportunity Enda!
Step forward the charismatic Obama – the potency of the words used, the fluidity of speech, as much as he embraced his Irish roots Obama wasn’t attempting to recreate any GAA commentary!!
Enda I only hope you were listening...
'We remember, in the words made famous by one of your greatest poets that “in dreams begins responsibility.... And today, Ireland’s youth, and those who’ve come back to build a new Ireland, are now among the best-educated, most entrepreneurial in the world. And I see those young people here today. And I know that Ireland will succeed.’
Obama, I sure am glad you’ve more faith in the youth of today than our own Taoiseach!
‘And, Ireland, if anyone ever says otherwise, if anybody ever tells you that your problems are too big, or your challenges are too great... Remember that whatever hardships the winter may bring, springtime is always just around the corner. And if they keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed: Is féidir linn. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Is féidir linn’.
Young graduates are the bright future our country needs, we are the future leaders of the country, and we will inspire future generations with our ability to rebuild the broken Irish economy. We are not the generation who so corruptly demolished the banking sector. Instead we are the generation who want to make a difference; we want the opportunity to right the wrongs of the pot-bellied bankers and politicians who spent their evenings lining the pockets of publicans and restaurateurs when the economy flourished. Graduates are credited for their ambitions, drive and determination – yet we remain in an environment in which all ambition is stifled by a government which fails to offer us any reasonable solution. I can without a doubt say that the graduates of today have a wealth of integrity compared to those who so cunningly wronged us in the first place.
Unlike Obama, who heralded ‘Yes we can’ the rhetoric of the Irish Government and the overpaid, bonus clad bankers pales in comparison; their attempts are instead uninspiring and pitiful! The ability of the graduate has been overlooked. It is apparent that the Government do not believe that we can aid the economic recovery by drawing on our expertise. Graduates want an input into remoulding the banking sector and Irish politics to ensure neither are riddled with corruptness in the future.
Enda Kenny – if you’re reading this (you’ve permission to recycle my words at any future addresses by the way!) and if you too ache for ‘a brighter future, even in bitter times’, I urge you to please give the young graduates the chance they deserve, because quite simply, if you do - Is féidir linn!!
The Forgotten Irish Graduate, May 2011