Irish nationalism

139 posts in this topic

Oh. And we don't all drink Guinness either. That's just advertising. It's particularly popular amongst older generations, and is the most-popular brand amongst many, but it's dying off. It's all part of the 'myth'. Young people drink Heineken, Budweiser, Carlsberg etc. and next-to-nobody drinks 'Kilkenny'. That brand is designed exclusively for Irish bars abroad :)

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I was engaged to a young lady from Greystones and the drinking was almost exclusively lager but as you say, the older chaps in the bar were cuddled up to the black stuff.

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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.

I bet I could tell them apart!

 

Joking aside, I do think that people are influenced by their surroundings, the people they grow up with and so on. It's some part of that Nature or Nurture arguement. I do think the Irish have a different mentality than other parties across the water...be they English, Scottish or Welsh. It's more than just an accent !

 

Bluedave you're just happy someone is agreeing with you, stop kissing...drink feck arse! :P

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Joking aside, I do think that people are influenced by their surroundings, the people they grow up with and so on. It's some part of that Nature or Nurture arguement. I do think the Irish have a different mentality than other parties across the water...be they English, Scottish or Welsh. It's more than just an accent !

I reckon the modern English and Irish cultures are very similiar. Music, TV shows. movies and the web being a huge influence.

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Bugger, you sussed me out tur

Yeah nice try Bud! Am actively on your case!

 

The gas thing is that I'm now trying to pick me my Irish language again as I think it's disgraceful to be actively learning French, German and some Croatian* and not be able to communicate in my own language. So have my Teach Yourself Irish book here too. No-one to practise with...any volunteers! :D

 

*Croatian ony being learnt so I can understand what the Ma in law is really saying about me!!!

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Yup, i'm in !

 

Oh, you meant speaking Irish didn't you ?

Sorry Bluedave, I'd be looking for some intelligent conversation anyhow...so that definitely rules you out ! :P

 

That's a bit mean...I take it back.

 

Just re-reading that...what are you getting at, yah cheeky rip!

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Quite right Schotte,

 

the Scottish in Norn Ireland made the English look like well mannered choirboys. Do a bit of reading on the plantation of Ulster.

"The whole of the country except the Scottish Plantation in the North is a scene of misery and desolation, hardly to matched this side of Lapland" The historical fact is that Ulster was comparatively more prosperous than the rest of Ireland in the 18th and 19th century. This was largely due to the "Ulster Custom" which allowed tenants to have a saleable interest in their holdings and the right of occupancy. This also extended to the Catholic minority though Catholics and Presbyterians did suffer under the penal laws and other legal disabilities, which in turn led to emigration to North America

 

 

You are SO full of shit it is just hurts. First, related to Cromwell? Which one is that? Dave Cromwell from Abergavenny? Second, if your family left the UK 300 years ago, I think you pretty much lost any right to call yourself that. Third, scotch is a drink, you thick American fuck. Scots are people from Scotland.

Very much on the money.

 

eurovol's knowledge of Irish history leaves a lot to be desired as has been proven on more than one occasion on these boards.

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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.

Don't worry, eof. Americans, who often have Irish roots, will carry that torch for you. It's not that uncommon in America to see players of the so-called "Celtic" harp, even though it's not much like the ancient one you see on the Guinness label. There are also quite a few people learning Irish here. (I myself took a weekend course in October.)

 

Maybe someday, someone will write a book: How the Americans Saved Irish Civilization. ;)

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Joking aside, I do think that people are influenced by their surroundings, the people they grow up with and so on. It's some part of that Nature or Nurture arguement. I do think the Irish have a different mentality than other parties across the water...be they English, Scottish or Welsh. It's more than just an accent !

Sure, but there's lots of regional differences in the UK or even Englabd too - differences between Northerners and Southerners, Londoners and non-Londoners, and huge established class differences, rugby union versus rugby league etc.

 

My point isn't that Irish people are indistinguishable from English people. They aren't. But they are very similar, and the way they live their lives is too, far more similar than is widely acknowledged.

 

I cringe too to be honest when I get referred to as coming from the UK (which happens a lot here), but I can understand why. To an outsider, how could they be expected to tell us apart when we speak the same language, physically look the same, dress the same, live lifestyles in practically the same way, play the same sports etc. etc.

 

The main real differences I would see between Irish people and English people is:

 

- Irish people are much less divided by class than Britain, probably because we are a smaller country, and also because the vast bulk of people were poor farmers up until a generation or two ago. In Britain, there are very established social class divisions as well as the economic ones (which do exist in Ireland). The Irish people generally have no truck with Sir. this or Lord that or monarchism. We don't have a ruling elite from any particular social-background or educational-background (e.g. Oxford / Cambridge dominance), quite the opposite. Although private education and posh Eton-esque type schools have taken off in a big way in the past 10 years, but this is a new development.

 

- Irish people are definitely more nationalistic in attitude compared to the UK. There is nationalism in the UK, typified by the Harry-Enfield 'Englander' type referred to before, and also in things like opposition to the EU and Euro etc., but it seems to be much less prevelent than in Ireland if you total it up. In part, perhaps because of decades of immigration and multiculturalism into the UK, which is a new phenomonen for Ireland. Irish people are very conscious of their national identity, and view colononialism in a very negative way [although strictly speaking we weren't a colony, but we like to view ourselves as if we were]. Irish people will almost always root for the underdog at a sporting occasion unless their 'own' team is playing, rather than latching onto a 'big' nation.

 

- Certain sports or cultural pass-times exist only in Ireland. Gaelic games are extremely popular and culturally important in parts of the country.

 

- Ireland is a much much more religious and socially-conservative place (e.g. Contraception was illegal until the mid 1980s, Divorce illegal until 1995, homosexuality until 1992 etc.), but this is quickly dying off amongst the younger generations.

 

- Ireland is much more rural. It was an agriculturally-dominant economy until a few decades ago. This brings greater cultural norms (such as conservatism) more closely associated with rural areas.

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Maybe someday, someone will write a book: How the Americans Saved Irish Civilization.

Sweet Jesus I hope not.

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I can ask for a beer in 8 languages and say i love you in 6, does that count as intelligent conversation ?

Asking for a beer in 8 different languages is useful and practical but any fool can say I love you :P

 

God this is too easy.

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Maybe someday, someone will write a book: How the Americans Saved Irish Civilization.

I know you're joking, but it's actually probably a valid point in a way.

 

Ireland is a tiny country of 4-5.5 million people (depending on how you define it). We're smaller than many German Länder. As one Irish politician said recently, our entire population is smaller than Greater Manchester.

 

In terms of Asia, Africa or South America a region of 4 million people would be a tiny dot of almost no consequence.

 

Yet we do punch way above our weight in terms of international recognition and knowledge of our country, and in terms of cultural 'branding' if you will - be it because of the seemingly ubiquitous Irish 'pub' or Irish whiskey or U2 or whatever.

 

Why?

 

Pretty much because of Irish emmigrants and their descendants who left the country for economic reasons in generations gone by.

 

There maybe only 4 million people living in the Republic of Ireland, about 10% of whom are foreigners anyways.

 

However, about 85 million people in world are estimated to consider themselves as having some sort of Irish ancestry, about 34 million people in the US alone.

 

It is really this latter group which define the impression of Ireland and allow the country to punch-above-its-weight in international recognition. And it's mainly in the US where that occurs.

 

So maybe you're not too far off the mark :)

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As one Irish politician said recently, our entire population is smaller than Greater Manchester.

Here that wasn't Bertie Ahern looking to see who is left in Manchester to borrow/receive money from? Wouldn't surprise me !

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