Some Cash Please We’re Irish

I saw an ad on RTE tonight on an upcoming programme titled ‘The Importance of Being Irish’. This is the sort of self-important sure-aren’t-we-all-great? navel-gazing claptrap that sends me hurtling for the bogs to blow chunks.

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It scarcely needs saying that being Irish is of no importance whatsoever. The vast majority of people who ever lived managed to exist day in day out without being Irish, and were and are quite untroubled by the fact. But there are a few million people who appear to think that being Irish is some sort of divine blessing.

One such person, featured in the programme, is Samantha Power, former advisor to Barack Obama. I read an interview with her in the New Statesman today. An excerpt:

“In his relationship with evil, he almost got a little seduced,” she admits. The way to do it, according to Power, is “to be in the room with the bad guys but not to check your principles in at the door”. Obama would engage with Iran’s President Ahmadinejad. He would sit down with North Korea and Syria. Is there anyone he wouldn’t talk to? “Not among elected heads of state. He won’t talk to Hamas, but he would talk to Abbas.”

This seems inconsistent with America’s talk of spreading democracy – after all, Hamas is a democratically elected government, and Mahmoud Abbas’s party, Fatah, lost the last popular vote. “Well, Abbas is the head of state, so he’s going to talk to heads of state.”

How one can be a head of state of a state that does not in fact exist is well beyond my literalist powers of comprehension. I suppose it must a bit like being the captain of a golf club with no golf course and no matches.

Surely this is yet another example of the uniquely Irish way of articulating things, of rendering things creatively so as to bridge the gap between the…continues for six million years, with contributions from dynamic Irish entrepreneurs, straggle-haired Irish harp players and stud farm owners with passionately rapturous and not at all boring stories of how even the Chinese love us these days.

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