Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Wiktor is an Eastern European man who has been living in Ireland for more than 20 years. “It hurts to watch how this beautiful country is heading toward economic and societal destruction. Like many foreigners based in Ireland, I come from an Eastern European country that was ruled by the communist regime for many decades. And before that, there was World War II which had an enormous impact on most families including mine. My grandfather was a prisoner in a concentration camp, my grandmother was fighting Nazis in the resistance. What they had to face is unimaginable but both of them survived two totalitarian systems and fought hard to be free.”
He feels frustration with the return of hardline policies many people believe are consigned to history, and is worried about the signs he is seeing.
“Unfortunately what’s happening right now in Ireland, and not only here, is exposing that totalitarian tendencies from the last century haven’t vanished in Europe. In fact, the last 12 months proved we don’t live in a democracy and our constitutional rights can be taken away very quickly. It appears that the constitution & existing laws have no meaning at all. They can be easily scrapped without the consent of citizens.
“All of this reminds me of family stories from World War II and the communist-era. Many of them are identical to what we witness today. State propaganda, creating divisions through fear, overwhelming corruption of all authorities & media, police violence and cancel culture. All of it happened before in Eastern Europe and I never thought I would witness it in the Republic of Ireland.”
There are many like-minded people here in his adopted country, he tells me.
“Based on the discussions with other immigrants living in Ireland I can see there are many folks like me, who love Ireland but are very worried about the future. Just like Irish people, we also ask ourselves what will happen when the economic destruction hits? Or if we don’t inject an experimental vaccine into our bodies, does that mean we will be deprived of access to our families living abroad for years? Will our children be able to attend school? “Have our rights been de facto cancelled?”
Viktor goes on to recount his views on his own employment situation and the what he is doing to help out in his local community. “Despite all the issues, I am the lucky one. I’m a highly skilled professional and my family hasn’t been affected financially like many small businesses or those who don’t even know they have no jobs to come back to. I can’t imagine what they are going through at this point and I’m trying to donate as much as possible to them. I have been also helping local people who ended up in difficult circumstances whether mentally or financially.”
Where does he see it all going in the future? “With every lockdown extension, with every “new virus strain”, with another Leo the Leak scandal and another grotesque NPHET recommendation, it’s becoming clear that Ireland is heading in a dark direction of totalitarianism. The similarities between the current situation and the rise of totalitarian systems in the 20th century are obvious.”
Does he fear for this future? For his family's future?
“...Perhaps this means that for the sake of our children, we might be forced to move to a place where their human rights will be respected (if such a place still exists). “Of course, I don’t speak for every foreigner on the island but I believe many would agree that Ireland has been a great home to us. Irish people have been friendly and supportive. We are happy to pay taxes here, we are happy to use our abilities to grow the Irish economy. We buy from local businesses, we contribute to creating more jobs, we are involved in local communities. Many of us have Irish spouses. “However, our families lived through nazism and communism. We know what comes next. We know how dark it can get. “If people won’t wake up, Ireland might not only lose people to suicides, untreated cancer and many other known consequences of lockdowns. It might also lose those skilled professionals who build prosperity each day. From early mornings to late evenings those who are still in jobs work hard for a more prosperous society. Many of those workers are like me - long term immigrants.” He ends with a strong statement.
“We despise any form of totalitarianism.Whether it comes from comrade Stalin or comrade Varadkar. We love freedom even if it comes with risks. Can we all get together and stop this madness? “It’s time to start rebuilding what has already been destroyed.”