“Let us reduce Ireland then in this new, expansive, age. Let us reduce it to its barest shell. Imagine an Ireland without ‘compulsory’ Irish, without a Gaeltacht, without Brú na Bóinne and then knock down the Norman castles and flatten every Celtic cross, hole every currach and use the canvasses of Jack B. Yeats as toilet paper. Then burn the fiddles, puncture the bodhráns, smelt the tin whistles, ban sean-nós singing, céilí dancing and sets. Play the Munster hurling championship in Belfast – and let Antrim win.”
I agree with much El Matador is saying here. However coming from an Irish Eurocentric, small part-Protestant family where I was brought up on jazz music and Saturdays and Sundays at the cricket club on one hand I know apart from myself no-one in my family would miss many of the cultural icons mentioned above. Although none of the above cultural markers were passed on to me (I not mad about jazz and don’t understand cricket) I am the only one of five whose all-Irish primary schooling lives on in Irish Language fluency. My tin-whistle playing days are long since over; I’ve been to two hurling matches in my life; I feel discomfort when I am in the Gaeltacht and I’d puke in a currach. Would I be right in saying that it is only my liberal leanings that would cause me to baulk at the removal of the language and its culture? Like many others in this country I wouldn’t miss the dolmens or the sunday GAA match and really many wouldn’t miss the sean-nós singing 😀 Ní bheadh mórán le canadh agamsa sa chith agus timpeall an tí agus b’fhéidir go mbeinn buartha faoina féidearthachtaí fostaíochta domsa! My bodhrán-playing, tin-whistle blowing, sean-nós lovin’ sister will kill me for writing this!
Lá ‘le Pádraig Shona dhaoibh ar fad!