‘Well I was just about 19
When I landed on their shore
With my eyes big as headlights
Like the thousands and thousands who came before
I was going to be something
Smiled at the man scrutinising my face
As I walked down off the gangway’
I was listening to this song by Paul Brady the other day and it struck me how when this young Irish man (‘just about 19′) went to another country to try and better his life (‘I was going to be something..)’ it was poignant, something that had to be done as there where no jobs, no hope and it’s what Irish men and women did but when young men from Syria or Iraq land on shores to try and get out of war zones, avoid repression, to better their lives they are ISIS members, criminals, want heated swimming pools in their homes when people here can’t even get a home, want boob jobs.
You’d think Irish men would get something about leaving home (all those illegal immigrants working in the US looking an amnesty) and:-
‘Living under suspicion
Putting up with the hatred and fear in their eyes
You can see that you’re nothing but a murderer
In their eyes, we’re nothing but a bunch of murderers’
But somehow many don’t.
They didn’t have to be smuggled across the Irish Sea in ramshackle dinghys (would you do that unless you were pretty desperate? I wouldn’t) and bombs weren’t falling on their house. A dictator was on one side of the country and bunch of sadistic religious fundamentalists on the other.
Somehow though when a European went to the States to get cheap land or flee famine or just make a better life for themselves it was part of our story and a necessity.
Nothing but the same old story?
I reckon we’re just hypocrites.