Tag Archives: Ireland

Warmth in Rural Ireland

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It’s become a cliché to remark on the friendly demeanour of the Irish and as an Irishman, a statement that I’ve always contested. Not with any kind of vehement hatred but more an understanding that friendly and hostile people exist in equal measure everywhere – you sometimes just have to find them! However, in my most recent homecoming, I’ve found there is a lot of truth to the stereotype.

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Gay marriage is legalised in Ireland – Finally!

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Ireland – the home of my formative years – has become the first country to legalise gay marriage through referendum. This has been a great step forward for a country that only officially legalised homosexuality twenty-five years ago. It’s a victory for Ireland and a further loosening of the grip that the Catholic Church holds on the throats of Ireland’s people. However, it must be analysed what a vote against gay marriage actually advocates.

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Pessimism Greets Victory

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Ireland tops a – grammatically adventurous – survey to win ‘goodest’ country to live. Now that in itself isn’t something that I deem worthy of comment[1] . However, the outrage (within my homeland) over the victory needs to be unpacked. Irish people greeted the award with angry emails denouncing the country’s status.

On the surface, this seems like a ludicrous concept rooted in a deep-seeded, anti-nationalistic, pessimism. A society so lacking in patriotism that any celebration of the nation leads to cries of treason. However, such a reasoning lacks an understanding of the self-deprecating and cynical nature of the Irish.

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Can you ever truly write a memory?

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I was at a family gathering last night back in Ireland. It happened at my late grandmother’s house; the place where I spent some of the best days of my childhood. The nostalgia crept up on me instantly as I walked up to the farm. It was the place where my cousins I and first allowed our imaginations to run wild. They were the days when I created my worlds physically to run amok within. In some ways I suppose it was where my love of the imagination grew from. I don’t think that I’d be a writer today if I hadn’t spent my childhood making stories among those fields. A broken down tractor that became a multi-functional vehicle. A collection of trees that became the set of a million different dramas. The bales of hay that became a wrestling ring. However, when I began to think about writing about what I saw; I couldn’t.

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