Sunday 11 December 2016

Keeping grounded

Published 09/11/2011 | 05:00

•As an Irishman living in the UK for the last 16 years, heading back today to London with a homesick heart after a too-brief weekend on home turf, I found myself reading the letters page of Monday's Irish Independent just as the wheels of my flight left the tarmac of Cork Airport. Somehow, one day's worth of letters seemed to sum up perfectly the country I was leaving behind.

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The letters started with complaining about the church and ended with complaining about Bertie, the twin bookends of our current problems. Subjects in between ranged from healthily, if diametrically opposed, attitudes to the European debt crisis, to the even greater calamity of too many people going to the bar during a George Michael concert.

Mixed in with these were Finbarr McCarthy's cheeky grammatical correction involving the use of enemas, and Sean Kelly's summation of an entire presidential election into a little pocket of poetic genius. All topped off with Terry Healy's beautiful composition, blending together 60 years of Irish history and culture through the medium of a bucket of auld slack.

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