Fintan O’Toole: Anything is possible now, we can renew Ireland

The pandemic has taught us that things we once thought impossible are achievable

The immediate context for thinking more deeply about the need for a radical renewal is, of course, the pandemic. Graphic: Paul Scott

The immediate context for thinking more deeply about the need for a radical renewal is, of course, the pandemic. Graphic: Paul Scott

The pandemic has knocked us out of our collective stride. Grim and grief-filled as the experience has been, it has also forced us to ask what path we want to be on.
 

As Ireland was going into its revolutionary period, WB Yeats said the country was like “soft wax”. It would, he predicted, be given a shape in those years that it would hold for a century.

Well, here we are a century on, marking a decade of centenaries. The shape the island took in the period we are now commemorating does not hold anymore. The wax is soft again and we have to decide what stamp we want to put on it for the next century.

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