Irish nationalism

139 posts in this topic

@spiller I didn't suggest that they were English, i said that people from the British Isles were basically the same people with reference to interbreeding etc

 

@ Schotte Now that was just cruel :lol:

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@bluedave The interbreeding has led me to have family from 3 countries! I am part Irish, English and Italian. one od great-great-grandmother was Britishs and my grandmothers family is originally Italian (going back around 7 generations i think, i left all the family history stuff at home)

 

I would not say they are generally the same. There is a huge difference, i have friend from the UK and i can see that.

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I am part Irish, English and Italian.

Jebus holy mother of a dairy, you're not... Richard Henry O'Fangostini, are you? :unsure:

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parnell, I share your antipathy towards the crooks we have in office in Ireland for, 3 years-aside, the past 20 years. How people in a well-educated country can keep voting en mass for people who have been demonstrated to be on the take over and over again, despite all the investigations and obvious lies etc. really beggars belief.

 

Let me know when you want to found a Munich "Let's bitch about Fianna Fail' club on Toytown. I'll be the first to sign up!

 

To people not from Ireland: both this party's current leader of 10 years and their prior leader of 11 years (forgetting about the guy in between for 4/5 years) have been investigated by corruption tribunals and publicly found to have been on the take from businessmen, dodgying tax, and quite obviously lying and covering it up etc. Yet 41% of the people still vote for them, to a large extent out of some sort of tribal loyalty dating back to a civil war in 1916, and they continue to run the government as they have done for about 17 of the past 20 years.

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parnell, I share your antipathy towards the crooks we have in office in Ireland for, 3 years-aside, the past 20 years. How people in a well-educated country can keep voting en mass for people who have been demonstrated to be on the take over and over again, despite all the investigations and obvious lies etc. really beggars belief.

I'm afraid it's down to simple and ugly greed. :(

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Well that's the thing. Sure they get a huge amount of support and money from vested interests who stand to benefit from their corruption, but the vast bulk of their support comes from ordinary middle and working class people who are getting screwed completely by the people who they are voting for, but still vote for them over and over again because they won't ever contemplate voting for anyone else - blind tribal loyalty. 30+% percent of the 41% they got in the last election is a core vote who will NEVER vote for any other party, despite the electoral system giving them no shortage of choices.

 

I shudder as to how great Ireland could be after the past 10 years of economic boom if we had a decent government in office who didn't basically redistribute most of it back into a wealthy elite. I've been reading a book by David McWilliams lately and it's quite scary reading about how the poor Irish people have been screwed, and how it's all about to unravel as Irish housing prices return to economic reality and we hit recession.

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I shudder as to how great Ireland could be after the past 10 years of economic boom if we had a decent government in office who didn't basically redistribute most of it back into a wealthy elite.

I shudder when I think how bad it's going to be in the next ten years. They couldn't fix hospital waiting lists and transport problems with all that money bulging out of the coffers. How in God's name will they be able to fix it when it's gone...and it's going, going...

 

Maybe I should be looking for another country to adopt me...and quick! :o

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I just realiased I referred to the civil war in 1916. I, of course, mean the civil war in the 1920s. please excuse the typo.

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Speaking as an Englishman. The last night at the proms really makes me cringe. In fact, all forms of nationalism are sick bucket material.

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I've always found it interesting to note the difference between Irish emmigrants from perhaps 20 years ago and now, particularly in Germany. I'm not talking about individuals, as clearly people are not all the same, but rather my impression of broad trends.

 

In the past, emmigration from Ireland was often not by choice, and emmigrants tended oftentimes tended to become very intensely nationalistic when abroad, oftentimes far moreso than their counterparts in Ireland [already one of the most nationalistic-countries in the world] presumably as some sort of expression of homesickness e.g. this is reflected for example in the IRA, whose terrorism was rejected by the vast vast bulk of Irish people, but were amply funded by the Irish-emmigrant community in the US.

 

But nowadays, as there are no shortage of jobs in Ireland, many of us newer ex-pats are here by choice and desire, and consequently are very unnationalistic in our attitudes, hence the willingness / desire to move here to begin with. It seems like the whole thing has gone full circle.

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I'm not Irish and have no Irish ancestors (I know, it's very rare for an American to admit that.) However, I do play the National Instrument and was trained on it (in Ireland and Germany) by some of the most prominent players in Ireland today.

 

I can tell you that some of these players won't let you pluck a string (especially one made of metal) till you know the entire history of Ireland's Continuing Struggles Against British Oppression (from the native point of view.) This is fair enough, since the clarsach itself is both a symbol and victim of said conflict.

 

I'm sure there are other artists in Ireland who also have strong nationalistic feelings, even if the general public has for the most part laid them aside.

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To be perfectly honest cinzia, up until 2005 I lived all my life in Ireland, and I didn't know which instrument to which you referred to until you mentioned 'strings' and I could then take a good guess :)

 

This... in spite of all that Guinness advertising with the harp stamped on it.

 

There are many different native views on the entire history of Ireland's Continuing Struggles Against British Opression. My experience is that amongst younger generations, all but a tiny minority have rejected that kind of biased and skewed view of the world that implict in Ireland's Continuing Struggles Against British Opression.

 

Truth be told, as an Irishman, without the help of accent to guide me, if you were to take an average young person from England and a similar young person from Ireland, for most cases, you'd have a hard time telling them apart.

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if you were to take an average young person from England and a similar young person from Ireland, for most cases, you'd have a hard time telling them apart.

Totally agree.

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if you were to take an average young person from England and a similar young person from Ireland, for most cases, you'd have a hard time telling them apart.

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. :)

 

T'was my point exactly.

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Very interesting topic, bluedave, thanks for starting it. Since my own experience with the Irish is a bit specialized, I often wondered how much a part nationalism actually plays in day-to-day life there.

 

I do know a couple from the North, he's from a Catholic family, she's from a Protestant one, although I think they'd say they're secular themselves. They've been together forever, but apparently their families were not happy with their relationship, and they even got married without owning up to their families for a long time. She told a story once about going to school in the North, when the British were trying to use the schools to heal some of the divisions starting with the young people. They'd get "story problems" in math(s) class that would begin: "Seamus and William are playing together. Seamus has two potatoes and William has ...etc." My friend would find these problems difficult, trying to get past the fact that Seamus and William would never play together! This would have been the early 80's.

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The North is very different from the Republic of Ireland, it must be said, but for the Republic...

 

Irish nationalism is a strange best. There are clearly differences between Irish people and English people, no doubt about it, but one of its foremost goals of Irish nationalism over the past century has been to actually create more differences by projecting an non-existent-image of Irishness from bygone times onto the public via public policy. Now the people did vote for this, it should be added.

 

This goal lead to various policies to force the Irish language on schoolkids, disincentivise 'foreign' sport-games, TV stations broadcasting in a language 70+% of the country can't understand and all sorts of government quangos and policies. While, arguably, the Irish people supported these policies by voting for parties who promoted them - the actual reality is that pretty much all these attempts by the government failed miserably. The people themselves rejected them in their every day lives. They are happy speaking English, happy playing soccer and rugby (along side Irish gaelic games) etc.

 

So the impression of Irishness often-conveyed to foreigners both by nationalistic-minded emmigrants abroad, and by adversiting and government-policy is actually often very very different from what constitutes real actual Irishness. We don't play the harp. In fact, I've never in all my time in Ireland EVER seen anyone play a harp. Most of us don't listen to Irish tradtional music. Most of us never speak Irish ever once we finish school, and even if we wanted to most of us couldn't to any decent standard. A large % of the country actively resents being forced to learn the language. Irish gaelic games are particularly popular in some parts of the country [mainly rural] but 'soccer'/rugby are the chosen games of the masses in other parts etc. etc.

 

The real Ireland isn't so different from the UK, truth be told, particularly over the past 20 years when the common market has lead to British department stores companies and media becoming available en mass in Ireland, and vice-versa (Ryanair for example).

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