Paddywhackery! Irish ancestral wounds ..

Ok. We are over St Patrick’s Day 2017. I don’t celebrate. 11,000 years of ancestral genes and I don’t celebrate an English former slave bringing Roman Christian ways to my indigenous Irish people. Forgive me if celebrating empire dominance, ‘divine’ right to dominate by virtue of being of English race and the forced religious suppression of indigenous spirit just does not appeal to me! We lost a lot in wrecking the earlier Christian and indigenous community webbing of systems of seasonal celebrations, community education and love of the land our ancestors’ bones compose.

I celebrate “Being Irish Day!” with my Irish Columbian Canadian grandchildren. Ireland is the place where, since 1157, processes of systemic colonisation were honed before their export to the Americas, Africa, India, Australia and the Caribbean. So it is a mixed response. I am of the blood of both colonised and colonisers. My father, Sean O’Neill, though proudly socialist and Irish republican, took me to Ghana West Africa when I was two. As a geographer, he was bringing a good British education to the Ghanians. Mammy, my baby brother Ronan and I were there for 10 formative years because Dad was the man in charge more than 60 years ago.

Right now, I am floored by the number of Irish names littering the current Christofascist coup in the US. Trumpf’s German ancestry, mucky family background and long career of woman-hating and abuse,  I understand as a trauma therapist with experience in systemic constellations work and years of training in the Hellinger tradition which emerged post Holocaust Europe. It has taken me months to see the Irish ancestral wounds rising to the surface like turds in the toilet. Bannon, Flynn, Brady, Pence, Ryan…

It’s the historic wounds of colonisation and empire that I see in those names. When you have centuries and generations where male and state domination is the norm, centuries of women and land abuse, centuries of hunger and addictions to ‘fill’ the emptiness of loss of ancestors, land, ritual, language and Spirit, what do you do? You become the abuser. You identify with the addictions, with the racialised rage and belief in the human armed male Godhead, touted by the oppressor. You channel your rage toward others.

As the recently made ‘white’, I see my privilege. When I see how it was gained historically, it makes me sick. The cure is in naming it and educating around what this means now.WhiteMansGovt

We Irish are much more than this. Watch what is coming to the surface to counter those turds… Draw on your ancestral wisdom. Root your self in the stones. Speak up less like a virus and more like a dawn chorus of birdsong. Celebrate all of who you are…