It was the third Sunday in July and the rain was lashing down.
The annual Tolpuddle Martyrs Memorial rally was drenched. Dampness permeated everything. Even with its poles resting on the ground, as the rally gathered around the platform for the speeches, the banner had become heavy; the fiery yellow colours at the centre of the banner had been dulled by the soaking. Standing in the rain, even the cheery notes of the brass band had ceased as the speakers began their addresses.
It came the turn of a government minister to speak.
“Are you all wet?”
“Yes”, shouted the crowd.
“Are you all soaked to the skin?”
“Don’t you think the men from this village who were transported to Australia would have loved to have stood here? As they laboured in the heat, don’t you think they would have loved to have felt the falling rain? Don’t you think they would have loved to have stood under grey Dorset skies instead of being on the other side of the world, sent there for no reason other than trying to organize themselves?”
The crowd roared its approval.
Ever since that Sunday afternoon, being wet has brought thoughts of the men from Tolpuddle.
It is a cold, windy, wet Dublin morning, and the overwhelming majority of the people in the world would love to be here for it.
Any rain at all would be welcome for many people.