They came to the right place to talk about money. After all the only mint that ever existed on the island of Ireland, was in Carlingford.
It was based at King John’s Castle. But there was just a passing mention of kings and castles at the Sinn Fein Carlingford Think-In before some Robin Hood-style spin on robbing (sorry) taxing the rich to help the poor.
“Welcome to Carlingford,” said local TD and party president, and adopted son of Louth, Gerry Adams.
He spoke like a true son of Louth.
“Over there you have Slieve Foy,” he said as the cameras rolled, “and over there King John’s Castle,” and then he swept a hand across the Lough and pointed out the Mournes, which are still over there in occupied territory.
So the scene was set. It was hard to believe that this was once a tense border area. How much can change in just a few decades. The party that was once at the centre of the Troubles, whose leaders were gagged and not allowed to be heard on camera, on television, on radio, was now gathered in the historic town of Carlingford for its Think-In, its pre-Dail review and assessment.
And that’s not all that has changed. They were joined by Unionists and members of the Sinn Fein Northern Assembly team for a “joined up approach”.
If there is going to be a United Ireland in our lifetime, then maybe the parliament will sit here in Carlingford, in King John’s Castle perhaps, and we can print money again, a harp on one side, and who knows what on the other.
Money was at the heart of this G-whiz summit. Your money, my money, and the money that went down the drain and sank in the Lough.
The €3 billion the government is looking to save in next month’s budget is too much, according to Deputy Adams. Sinn Fein want to reduce that to €2 billion, or €2.5 billion. They were not sure which because Deputy Adams had kindly facilitated the press before the serious talking had started.
Another serious point made by Mr Adams was the reemergence of our great Irish tragedy.
The North never really suffered as much from emigration as the Republic, because it has been propped up by the British government which has always created public servant jobs to create a false economy there.
Here in the South, we have always exported our people, ever since the state began really, with the exception of the boom decade.
Deputy Adams reminded us that in the past few years 300,000 people emigrated from the Republic, 100,000 in the past year.
At this rate we will have lost as many people as we did in the Great Famine, not to mention the Fifties when the rate of emigration was the same as now and De Valera was in power for about seven years.
Gerry Adams, flanked by finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said he was concerned about the effect this was having on families left behind. So the wealth tax is back on the cards. King John’s gold.