Amidst this pain and hurt, Ireland is reconnecting with its core values
There is hope for Ireland and I have the evidence. Over the last month, I've hitch-hiked the length and breadth of the country on what I called the 'hitching for hope' listening tour. This was an adventure I embarked upon to help inform my forthcoming talk at the MacGill summer school. I hadn't hitch-hiked in 18 years and didn't have money or a plan but ventured into the unknown and rediscovered the beauty and power of our land and people.
I'd be lying if I pretended this wasn't as much of a personal quest as it was social research. I'm looking for hope as much as anyone. I've struggled to get by financially in recent years; but more importantly, I've struggled to have faith that this country has a bright future.
On my journey, I met and interviewed people of all ages, races and backgrounds. They included farmers and fishermen, atheists and priests, barristers and business people, the unemployed, the depressed and the hopeful.