Colour Me Bad

I started this writing post yesterday:

Michael McDowell made his case for a bi-chromatic republicanism, and described his family’s historical involvement in republicanism.

Reading McDowell’s account of his own family, I find myself wondering if I really identify with a republican tradition at all.

That is, I have ancestors who were Irish Republicans in some shape or another, but I identify with their republicanism about as much as I identify with the trades at which they worked. And I find it rather hard to identify with linen bleachers and farm workers. So I’m wary of this whole idea of unbroken tradition, and an idea of ‘pure’ republicanism to which one can somehow return.

Then I came back to the post today and thought: do I really give a shit about this stuff any more? Who cares what Michael McDowell’s family did, or what his vision of republicanism is, or what Sinn Fein’s vision of republicanism is: it’s all a load of contrived crap anyhow.

When I read all this talk of two traditions – the green and the orange – it’s two-fingers-down-the-throat time. Most of the people I have come to know well since I moved here don’t belong to either tradition, nor do they want to. Probably because most of them are foreigners. I am convinced that the best way to live in Ireland is to choose to belong to neither of these ‘traditions’, which are, for the most part, extravagant fictions.

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1 Response to “Colour Me Bad”


  1. 1 Ciarán September 29, 2005 at 12:17 pm

    I totally agree: it would be nice if McDowell and co were true republicans and less interested on removing citizenship rights from the Irish children of immigrants, but as for all this cultural nationalism bollocks, well it just ain’t good for you.


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