Saturday 19 August 2017

Why Ireland should never forget its national treasures

The gay icons who established Dublin's Gate Theatre deserve their special place in history, writes Sophie Donaldson

Sophie Donaldson at the Oscar Wilde statue in Merrion Square. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Sophie Donaldson at the Oscar Wilde statue in Merrion Square. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Sophie Donaldson

Sophie Donaldson

During one of my first nights out in Dublin I was at the sink in the ladies when I felt somebody's gaze boring into my back. I met their reflection in the mirror and saw a girl, maybe 18 or 19, staring at me, her kohl-lined eyes narrowed.

"You," she said, "look massive." My eyes widened and - never having been insulted quite so directly before - I swiftly left the bathroom. I was totally floored, and probably felt the same way all the Irish people in my native Australia did the first time they were told to "bugger off".

This wouldn't be the last time I would misinterpret slang, misread colloquialisms or completely and utterly miss the point.

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