Although church attendance in Ireland has declined – in some places, dramatically – 84 per cent of the Irish population still defines itself as Roman Catholic. And many of those Irish Catholic values still remain in the deposit of the national psyche. That, I believe, is one reason why the Irish are not uncomfortable with … Continue reading
Filed under Language, Society and Life …
THE BEAUTIFUL GAIETY GIRL WHO MARRIED A MARQUIS…
When the young Marquis of Headfort, Geoffrey Thomas Taylour, fell in love with a beautiful Gaiety girl – yes, an actress – and insisted on marrying her, in 1901, all of gentry society, in Ireland and in England, was scandalised. Not only had Rosie Boote been on the stage – and her mother and father … Continue reading
FINNISH LESSONS – CAN WE LEARN FROM FINLAND’S EDUCATION SYSTEM?
Ireland’s global position in education has slipped rather badly in recent times: we came 17th in one international study of literacy. A nation of writers and bards – for shame! Top of any European list in the education league now is – Finland. In the most recent study by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) … Continue reading
EQUALITY IN THE BOARDROOM: RACHEL CUSK SHOWS HOW COMPLEX WOMEN’S CHOICES CAN BE…
There was some proposals, highlighted recently on International Women’s Day, that more women should be promoted onto the boards of public companies. The European Commissioner, Viviane Reding had suggested previously that there should be a voluntary agreement that, by 2015, about a third of boardroom members should be women. She is now revising this view, … Continue reading
BACK TO THE LAND – AND NOW FARMING IS FASHIONABLE AND SUCCESSFUL…
The most cheering news of the year, surely, is about Irish farming and agriculture. There is an enthusiastic return to agricultural studies, along with a rise in farm land prices and a boom in Irish food exports. Irish food and drink exports increased by €1 billion last to reach the highest volume ever. Over the … Continue reading
Mary Kenny: The Republic of Ireland and the British Crown.
In every society and at all times there is a notion of “political correctness” – that is, a kind of civic ideal of virtue to which we are encouraged to aspire. The prevailing “political correctness” in the Ireland of my childhood, in the 1950s, was concerned with a certain ideal of “upright republicanism”. Ireland had … Continue reading
YOU KNOW MORE GERMAN THAN YOU THINK YOU DO
It is a universally acknowledged fact that what we should all resolve, in 2012, to learn more German. After all, 97 per cent of the Germans speak some English, but less than 3 per cent of the Irish (or British) speak some German. Yet, take heart. You probably know more German than you think you … Continue reading
LIKE SEX, MONEY USED TO BE A HIDDEN SUBJECT….
Many of our values have changed during my lifetime – sex, smoking, suicide, to name but three. But few have changed more dramatically than attitudes to money. When I was growing up, it wasn’t quite respectable to mention money. Only vulgar people spoke about the price of things. A woman in our neighbourhood was regarded … Continue reading