Always Ireland struggled to form itself before the world and it was known through its nine centuries of history as enslaved by the English Empire. They learned how to become the “Fighting Irish”.
From stories of Finn McCool at the Giant’s Steps to Michael Collins, always the Irish had to fight their way out of situation! Their only means was war, poetry, passion and song. A constant saying or stereotype that “God invented whiskey, so the Irish wouldn’t rule the world” has changed certainly for the better and thanks to the Euro has become a place for the best quality of life in all of Europe and a place that its best to explore in the greatest moment in history since the European Union, Ireland has turned itself into an Industrial leader and searching for its glory well deserved after centuries of colonization.
However, what gave Ireland such passionate men and women to be admired? Well, when one is a minority the best and worse characteristics do come out, from their women with beautiful-reddish hair and men for their passions in wine and song at the local pub. All over Ireland the night are to fancy, especially around Dingle Bay Peninsula and people tell of the stories that made this country great. Reading of poems from W.B. Yates, the band sings in perfect Gaelic rhythm and the local town hall performs plays from Oscar Wilde’s variety to form; all in gala to remember their history and how much they had to sacrifice by fighting and waiting for its independence.
So pride does engulf Ireland, and again people are learning Gaelic, other than English. Something that before 1922 [Gaelic] wasn’t even allowed, outlawed as a dangerous language by the British. Known in the past as a subversive language, but indeed a 2,000 year-old tongue, Ireland had to fight to hold it.
Why did this happen?
For 200 years there were constant invasions by the Vikings through coastal Dublin to the rest of the Island. These events took place between the 9th to 11th Centuries. Without success, the Vikings gave up and went back home!
Later, seeing it as a prosperous Island, the Anglo-Saxons entered the picture. And from a nation founded in the Druid traditions and worship of the land, it was turned into a Medieval- wasteland. Although St. Patrick came from Scotland with Christianity, the Celts had not known the torment that awaited them! Therefore, after the English enslavement, men and women took to writing in Gaelic-secretly, and poetry and song were written with Revolutionary undertones.
Other than the Book of Kells, literature was kept away from the masses and as any minority, resentment began to arise! Nothing was done or the dream was not turned around into a reality until the 20th Century.
Actually before, what the English tried to do was to ‘weed’ the Irish-nobles out and basically lay with their women, this fostered even more hate. And later, those nobles born of English parents in Ireland weren’t even accepted back in English-society. The hate was even more rooted!
The "Fighting Irish"
Singers and stories like “Molly Malone” made a nation stronger to prepare for the fight and like Sinn Fein expressed in their native-tongue, “Are We Ourselves?” It was “The straw that broke the camel’s back”. The English nobility suckled from the Irish land, maybe causing the biggest death toll in its history, producing an Irish Potato Famine and one million deaths! This caused a massive exodus of five million Irish people into places like Australia, South Africa, England, Boston and New York in the 1840s. And after the Famine was all over, the English did come back, but only to exploit them even more. Poverty is the biggest breeder of revolutionaries.
By the 20th Century, after 900 years of abuse, the fight began! From Galway and it moved into Dublin at the right moment. A time to take back what was theirs and finally for the achievement of independence, but not without a heavy price: they lost the six upper counties of Ulster. Or better known as Northern Ireland was kept by the English for its value, political, strategic and industrial might.
Like with everything in Ireland, another conflict did take place, the one from 1968 to 1998, with a Ceasefire finally declared. IRA (the Irish Republican Army) would stop terrorist activities against England. But who is the terrorist? When for 30 years Belfast was a wasteland, and Catholics and Protestants were actually have it out by constantly killing each other. And it is still a common practice for men and women to get together at the local pub and with a pint of Guinness sing the good with the bad! Or have a Sheppard’s Pie and think that all worries are left for tomorrow, and there is this unique moment to enjoy your friends at the pub.
"Tomorrow is not promised to anyone!"
Therefore, to alleviate all worries, the pub is a community and social gathering for people around the Island. A constant practice in Ireland for all sorrows: whether through romance, social or political, it is what it is! For those that even accept Sinead O’Connor, as you all well know, even in Ireland she is still accepted for being a revolutionary.
Now, for even more romance in the pursuit of the lassies, there are those beautiful blue-eyes to conquer the soul of men and a temper to go with them. Reminds all of movies made by Maureen O’Hara and those passions felt by enjoying a dusky-sunset at Connemara, only when a perfect sky has formed… For the men, women enjoy their solid jet-black hair and handsome eyes, whether they come from Bono or Liam Neeson.
Passions do flourish and come about in the land of stories, passions, poems and leprechaun-crossings that will certainly end with your ‘pot of gold’. And what’s not to love? Maybe it’s a way to happiness, since this [nationalism] has come out even stronger after the English left; and what is stated as the best literature in the world. That from repression has come with greatness in the whole of Ireland.
By Daniel Otero
Company: TEFL, Zhuji, China