Since the economic crisis of 2008, Irish society has experienced a dramatic restructuring of economic life with unprecedented levels of austerity imposed in order to rescue Ireland’s banking system and, by extension, the wider project associated with the European Union. The Troika bailout agreement, enthusiastically endorsed by the Irish political establishment, imposed eye-watering levels of austerity that insulated the richest members of society and explicitly targeted the poorest and most vulnerable. However, in the past year a has emerged, galvanized by the imposition of a deeply unpopular water tax, to fight austerity, producing a political crisis for the Irish establishment. This political crisis is not unique to Ireland; it is evident across Europe where what Tariq Ali describes as the is facing a moment of crisis as it finds itself increasingly incapable of responding to the needs and desires of the people of Europe. In his Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci reminds us that “the crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” The victory for same-sex marriage in Ireland should be understood as part of this interregnum. The old is dying in Ireland but what will replace it remains up for grabs.
Fawkes was soon publicly hanged as a Catholic traitor and the date of his failed attack was chosen by the Parliament as “a holiday forever in thankfulness to our God for deliverance and detestation for the Papists.” Halloween and Guy Fawkes Day/Bonfire Night (as it came to be dually known) co-existed peacefully for about 40 years until, in 1647, Parliament banned the celebration of all festivals excepting the anti-Catholic celebration. It was then, due to their relative proximity of one another, that November 5 began to take on many of the sinister and mischievous elements of Halloween. Young people would spend weeks preparing for the night by going house-to-house dressed in rags and demanding firewood or money for the massive bonfire roasts of Pope effigies that would come to define the night, a tradition that some historians consider as the origin of trick-or-treat, which will be discussed later. According to Rogers, if no firewood or money was given, it was “considered quite lawful to appropriate any old wood” from these households.
But this and many others I omit, being studious of brevity.Supposing that one thousand families in this city, would be constant customers for infants flesh, besides others who might have it at merry meetings, particularly at weddings and christenings, I compute that Dublin would take off annually about twenty thousand carcasses; and the rest of the kingdom (where probably they will be sold somewhat cheaper) the remaining eighty thousand.I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom.
Then as to the females, it would, I think, with humble submission be a loss to the public, because they soon would become breeders themselves; and besides, it is not improbable that some scrupulous people might be apt to censure such a practice (although indeed very unjustly), as a little bordering upon cruelty; which, I confess, hath always been with me the strongest objection against any project, however so well intended.But in order to justify my friend, he confessed that this expedient was put into his head by the famous Psalmanazar, a native of the island Formosa, who came from thence to London above twenty years ago, and in conversation told my friend, that in his country when any young person happened to be put to death, the executioner sold the carcass to persons of quality as a prime dainty; and that in his time the body of a plump girl of fifteen, who was crucified for an attempt to poison the emperor, was sold to his imperial majesty's prime minister of state, and other great mandarins of the court, in joints from the gibbet, at four hundred crowns.