Quite unintentionally my recent stay in hospital coincided with the book of Exodus in my scriptural reading cycle. This meant that the plaques visited upon the land of Egypt were being acted out on my body as I recovered from surgery. As my own sense of captivity deepened the words of Moses to pharaoh gathered weight, and I found myself almost singing out those words at the chained doors of the ward. Let me go. The echo of scripture and literature in the commonplace of our daily lives has never failed to amuse me. Here was me – twelve days in a place that was dedicated to my health and well-being and I was taking on the ages of suffering of an enslaved people.


Outside in the real world the armies of pharaoh had already fallen upon the children and carted some of them off to the dungeons. For daring to challenge the letter of the law when the spirit of the law has become the enemy of the poor – the poor were cast into prison. A message was being sent out to the working people of Ireland that they will pay, and if they don’t – they will be made to pay.

People will not be so easily bullied. When protesters were sent to prison for refusing to comply with the injustice of the law the whole protest movement responded in kind. Thousands of people from all over Ireland gathered in the city of Dublin and marched on Mountjoy Prison to demand the release of those innocent people. Ireland’s legal élite has the neck to send people with families into a prison populated with violent offenders for the crime of being unable to pay a tax which has been conceived to cover the costs of middle class recklessness.

Already a number of plagues have come to visit our Ireland. We have had boils and frogs; the greedy and incompetent train of politicians and bankers who have polluted our homeland with blood and darkness. Why must the people at the very bottom of the social heap be made to suffer the aggression of the despoilers of worlds?! It is time that we began to take seriously those powerful words, Let my people go.

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