In this piece published in the Nenagh Guardian in 1999, Senator Labrás Ó Murchú sets out his hopes forthe new millennium.
"There is a real opportunity for Ireland to set examples which take cognisance of an enhanced humanity. We have an opportunity to replace greed with gratitude and all children, born and unborn, could be cherished equally by the nation. To do less diminishes us all and undermines future potential and stability. We live in exciting times which present exciting opportunities. We can be bland or brave in our responses. We can be ourselves alone with an individual identity or be part of a non-distinctive mass which is exploited by the few for selfish gain or hidden agendas.
I am confident that our pride of race and spiritual ethos will guide us towards the positive rather than the mundane. What way will those who people future millennia perceive us as their ancestors? Will we be judged as having nurtured the environment, cherished all its inhabitants and kept faith with the legacy of St. Patrick?
As we step into the next millennium we can do so with confidence and conviction and also in the knowledge that, as a race, we have been tested many times during the last millennium and not found wanting. We can create our own special vision and employ our talents and philosophy to that end, for the honour of Ireland and the glory of God.
The inspiring and traumatic history of Ireland can comfort and encourage us in these modern times. Despite the decimation caused by the famine and the fact that many had to' emigrate, Irish people survived and our values were cultivated world-wide.Wolf Tone would surely rejoice as the Northern conflict moves speedily towards a lasting solution. It is a cause for celebration that the different traditions on this island can be harmonised and that Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter can work in unity for the common good.
But I wonder to what extent people will have control of their own destiny in the new millennium. Will the old oppression be replaced by a new more subtle form of oppression?
In the midst of our own good fortune, will the miracle of our survival be shared with those who are less fortunate than our selves at home and abroad? Will there be room at the inn for those who reach our shores in search of refuge and opportunity?