Thursday 19 April 2018

Bring back the beal bocht to help us manage bailout times

We need to unlearn unfortunate trait of best foot forward acquired during the boom, writes Brendan O'Connor

You know the old joke about how many Irish mothers it takes to change a light bulb? "Ah shure, ye all head out and enjoy yereselves and I'll just sit here in the dark."

In a week when our national psyche was in the news -- courtesy of the Lonely Planet's assessment of us as downbeat alcoholics -- that old joke is actually quite a profound summing-up of what used to be our two great national talents -- the poor mouth and passive aggressiveness.

All the great political movements in Ireland have kind of blended these two questionable qualities. Indeed, as Kevin Myers pointed out the other day, the hunger strikes were the ultimate passive-aggressive act.

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