Wednesday 19 September 2018

Pompous, out of touch elites look down on Ireland from on high

European ambassadors' complacent portrait of the country reflects their own world view rather than ours, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

“From the ‘poorhouse of Europe’ to the Celtic Tiger to the economic crash to the Celtic Phoenix, it has been a bumpy ride,” runs one gem. You don’t say? Photo: Andreea Chiper
“From the ‘poorhouse of Europe’ to the Celtic Tiger to the economic crash to the Celtic Phoenix, it has been a bumpy ride,” runs one gem. You don’t say? Photo: Andreea Chiper

Eilis O'Hanlon

There's a scene in Casablanca where Humphrey Bogart looks through the intelligence that the Germans have gathered on him. "Are my eyes really blue?" he asks in mock wonder.

It can be difficult to recognise oneself as seen through other people's eyes, so it's entirely possible that any bafflement about modern Ireland as it's portrayed in a newly released letter by six EU ambassadors is simply a reflection of that.

Or it could be because the document in question is a facile piece of back-of-an-envelope drivel; a catalogue of inanities plucked from Dublin middle-class dinner party conversation.

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