Monuments to our national lack of self-respect litter the country
From heritage sites to our capital's streets, the sense of self-loathing and decay speaks volumes, writes Colum Kenny
YEATS' tower in Co Galway is deserted and the area overgrown. I felt like I had stepped outside time when I visited Ballylee last weekend.
A broken sign points to the locked-up medieval castle and thatched cottage that housed Ireland's greatest poet during the civil war. The following year, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
For an hour, I had to myself what in some countries would be a carefully maintained and thronged heritage site. Even the picnic area was sealed off and neglected. On a glorious day in mid-summer, one car passed. But you do not have to travel down a remote boreen near Gort to get a sense of decay and self-loathing. Just walk along our capital's main street, named in honour of a great Irishman, and around to Parnell Square, named in honour of another. Their condition speaks volumes about our self-respect.