News Irish abroad

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Emigrants from Ireland are quite happy to be ‘smelly’ together

Published 21/11/2013 | 15:42

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Vogue Williams apologised over her 'smelly Irish' tv jibe
Vogue Williams apologised over her 'smelly Irish' tv jibe

Irish expats have an uncanny knack of bumping into fellow countrymen when abroad.

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But, contrary to the comments from Irish model Vogue earlier this week, this is something we crave rather than try to avoid.

And yes; I agree that the reason for jumping off of the island every now and then (apart from out of pure employment desperation) is to experience new tastes, sights, activities, and people.

Nonetheless, there exists a wealth of evidence to demonstrate that Irish people love Irish people when they go abroad – and Irish ‘things’.

From Gaelic sports clubs in London to ceili dancing in Houston, with perhaps a stop off in Auckland for a pot of Irish stew – many expats actually become ‘more’ Irish than they were back at home.

In fact, I’ve never been more proud to know the Irish rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann as when I found myself singing it walking along in Canterbury, Kent.

It’s not as if we’re over-sensitive about being called ‘smelly’ – as a nation we’ve put up with a hell of a lot worse slights that may or may not be accurate.

Yet, the worst affront was that it was one of our own – despite her extensive worldly experience – that was happy enough to diss the Irish community abroad.

But the wife of Brian McFadden’s distaste at finding Home & Away’s beach Summer Bay thronged with Irish people is simply not the majority opinion.

The throwaway comment has definitely increased the public’s awareness of Ms Williams online this week but not for reasons she may have preferred.

However, the former expat (she lived with the hubby in Australia for a few years) had the sense to apologise for any offense her statement may have caused.

‘G’wan the Irish,’ she tweeted. Indeed. 

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