When our Irish eyes are smiling ...

AS a proud Irishman (I fervently support the two greatest club sides in the world — Leinster and Munster), I would have to agree with the opinions expressed in the Lonely Planet guide book, regarding Ireland and the Irish.

But, while they hit on our unique ability to take the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune with a grain of salt, they appear to have played down our narcissistic tendency to roll over and have our bellies tickled.

We are a nation addicted to praise, regardless of the source of that praise.

And how did Lonely Planet miss out on the national broadcaster’s embarrassing habit of fishing for approval? You know, where every “foreigner” is cajoled into making some complimentary remark about the old sod before he/she is allowed to leave the studio — or being badgered into unearthing an Irish connection. Then there is the eight-hundred-year-old blot on the British copybook which remains as indelible as ever and is regularly rolled out whenever an interviewee appears to hit a cultural nerve.

But hey, we’re all great fun, and as long as the tills are ringing, we can be a Joyce or a Behan — or whatever it takes to bring in the dosh.

Niall Ginty

Killester

Dublin 5

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