A Green Dawn
It’s a generational problem.
Bitterness in Ireland has become an inherited condition.
As though it were contagious, the old dogs who live in the present but think in the past, poison the naive minds of younger generations, forcing them to carry their burdens and fight their fights.
They educate hate to those who have no reason to hate, hoping that their offspring will fulfil some fantasy of making their side of the community the more dominate force in the country when really their just weakening the nation as a whole.
This wall of hate however, is being tore down brick by brick and the sporting heroes of this island are the hammers which are doing so.
Such is the power of sport and the ecstasy that it can inject a country; it has demolished barriers and united divisions that have been cemented into the foundations of this nation for years.
Instead of fighting each other we started to take on the world.
We banded together to support Rory McIlroy become the best on the planet, beating the big-hitters of the game to sit on the same table as the invincible Tiger Woods.
He soon made it a table for one with a throne for a seat as he overthrew the undisputed champion of the game to achieve the sports grandest title.
Coming from both backgrounds of Protestant and Catholic he represents us as one.
A real ambassador of what we can be if we move forward,
A boy from Tigers Bay entered the Tigers den when he ventured from the Loyalist estate to Poleglass to find the love of his life.
Carl Frampton jumped the barrier to be with his soul mate and together they took on the world, rallying an army of integrated followers who took the jump with them.
The dominate boxer remains undefeated and has the support of the whole of Ireland as he closes in on a world title.
A Belfast lad at heart, who hasn't forgotten his roots, personifies the potential this country has to succeed and prosper.
Tears fell from the eyes of united citizens across the country when Argentina knocked out our beloved nation in the 2015 World Cup.
Together we painted the tournament green as we pushed our boys through the group stages.
Even the host nation England couldn't match what we achieved and they have twice the resources, numbers, money and support.
History was made when the north and south played, what Pele calls “the beautiful game” on the European stage to join the elite heading to Paris in 2016.
Football is the common language of Europe and we are speaking it fluently with an accent that the world loves as we prepare to throw down on the most prestigious platform in the continent.
Germany, France, England and Italy are only some of the teams who we could come up against and with us qualifying just as they did were in with every bit of a chance as they are.
With the joint support of all of Ireland we can push these heroes to the top of their profession and change the view the world has on our country.
So don’t look back because memories fade, hatred thins, and terror fades.
It is then we can find acceptance.
It is then we can win.
By Lee Costello