Wednesday 17 January 2018

Declan Lynch: Two tough tribes that go by the name Paddy

Irishness is a broad arc that unites sometimes very different folk under the one banner, writes Declan Lynch

Irishness is a many-splendoured thing. In recent weeks we have seen two distinctive kinds of Irish people, two tribes as it were, representing us in front of an international audience. The much-maligned Travellers resisting the bailiffs at Dale Farm in Essex and the rugby guys fronting up to Australia in the World Cup have shown the rich variety of our culture.

Yes, they may be coming from somewhat different socio-economic situations, and it is highly unlikely that members of these tribes would ever encounter one another in any setting other than a court of law.

Yet, while they may be far apart in a superficial sense, when you take a deeper look you see some surprising similarities -- there is that huge appetite for physical combat, for the giving and the taking of massive "hits".

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