Saturday 16 December 2017

Holy Mary gives the nod to Middle Ireland

When McAleese, the mother of a gay child, spoke out, she gave Middle Ireland consent to go against the Church, says Brendan O'Connor

A BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO IRELANDS: The intervention of former president Mary McAleese in the same-sex marriage referendum debate could be crucial, as she represents both ‘Middle’ Ireland and ‘liberal’ Ireland
A BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO IRELANDS: The intervention of former president Mary McAleese in the same-sex marriage referendum debate could be crucial, as she represents both ‘Middle’ Ireland and ‘liberal’ Ireland
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

WE all reckon we know how liberal, young, modern, urban Ireland will vote in the marriage equality referendum. The worry now seems to be what people in the media often sneeringly refer to as Middle Ireland.

In many ways, Middle Ireland remains a mystery to a lot of people in Dublin. In general, they underestimate the sophistication of country people of a certain age, dismissing them all as innocent simpletons who like Winning Streak and yearn for the 1950s. D4 doesn't realise, to its cost, that country people often have far sharper and more agile and subtle minds than their modern city cousins give them credit for.

They may not chatter as much about everything, but when they do they can tend to know their own minds, and to have thought a lot about what they are saying. Neither are they as prone as urbanites to buy into whatever the current shibboleths are.

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