Turning Away from the Call of Destiny
Deaglán de Bréadún
I know my many friends will be deeply disappointed but unfortunately I have to break the news to them today that I shall not be running for the high office of Uachtarán na hÉireann. I am painfully aware of the unvarnished reality that this will come as a further blow to national morale at a time when Mother Ireland faces great peril.
I have heard the rumours that a path has been beaten to my door by all manner of supplicants from the political parties and elsewhere, beseeching me to lead the nation out of its current slough of despond. But in truth I feel unworthy of such a great task, especially in light of the multitude of aspirants offering to wear the crown of thorns.
It is also true that by this stage there are so many wannabe Presidents that I am in a distinct minority in turning down the prospect of running – or standing? – for the office.
The highways and byways of this fair land are empty as a result of the mad rush of candidates to radio and television studios to deliver the message to an eager public that they are only too willing to serve.
There is what one might call an embarrassment of riches at this stage. Confronted with so much talent and ambition, my natural shyness takes over and I must retreat into a demure silence.
So let me repeat the words of General Sherman: “If nominated by either party, I should peremptorily decline; and even if unanimously elected I should decline to serve.” Or would you prefer Lyndon B. Johnson: “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.” (I haven’t got a party, but you get the message.)
I know this will come as a bitter blow to a nation that has already suffered greatly over the last three years – but, hey, there’s always the Galway Races