There has been a lot of talk lately about a "New Ireland"
which to be honest is a load of rubbish.
Once the excitement of the election has passed we are all going to be right back where we started.
Pessimistic I know.
There is however a lot of hope in our newly elected TDs.
Today there was a front page of a tabloid
dedicated to the fact that we have our first openly gay TDS.
There is a horrid woman who spouts religious doctrine on the streets of Galway
and she was having a great time talking about the evils of the aforementioned TDs.
I was unfortunate to be in the vicinity for some of her speech.
And then the most wonderful thing happened.
Six or seven young schoolboys went up to her and told her to be quiet.
She screamed horrible things at the boys
but they stood their ground.
They said to her that Ireland was a progressive country now
and that it was people like her who should be ashamed.
I gave them a little clap as I chewed on my sandwich.
It occurred to me that I had never seen or heard young boys (they were no more than 14)
ever defend gay people before.
Normally all you hear from them is
"That is so gay... no you're so gay"
so to hear that they defended our gay TDs made me proud of them.
It also gave me hope.
Hope for us.
Hope for Ireland.
Hope for the younger generation!
This Dail has elected it's largest proportion of women ever.
On merit, not because of gender.
We have openly gay representatives
in a country that outlawed homosexuality until the 1990's.
We have the wonderful David Norris running for presidency.
Civil war politics has gone.
Most of our newly elected are just that.
The majority of the cronies which sticky hands and no consciences have gone.
Most of them disappeared without a fight.
Irish people may not demonstrate like their European neighbours.
We tend not to burn things when we get angry.
But we demonstrated our intolerance of liars, cheaters and crooks this week.
The practises of the past will no longer be acceptable.
One TD -Ming Flanagan (whose election surprised many)
has accepted half his alloted salary.
Hopefully others will follow suit.
We cannot save the banks.
We cannot default on our toxic debt.
But maybe we can prove how forward thinking and resilient we have become.
"New Ireland" is going to remain the same as "Old Ireland"
for another decade at least.
But at least we can hope for pride in a new batch of representatives
who will care more for what is right
than what is going to line their pockets.
All I would hope is that the importance of the Irish language is not forgotten.
It seems to be one aspect of our culture which is under threat.
Please new government
try to remember
Tir gan teanga, tir gan anam.