Friday 9 December 2016

No more heroes

Published 25/01/2012 | 05:00

• My late mother moved from Gweedore as a "lifestyle choice" to Westland Row, Dublin, aged 18 and without a word of English. Espying a fellow Gweedore friend in the city, they both spoke in excited Irish. Soon a crowd gathered around to listen to them.

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That was 1941 and today I suppose I myself would gather around if I heard two people speaking English in the Blanchardstown shopping centre. That's how far we have travelled on our road to multiculturalism.

Anyway my mother learned English and spoke it with a crispness and respect that few of the native speakers did. She still thought that you could pick an Irish word that was more descriptive than any English word. I wasn't always as sure.

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