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Another planet

As a proud Irishman (I fervently support the two greatest club sides in the world -- Leinster and Munster), I would have to agree with the opinions expressed in the 'Lonely Planet' guide book, regarding Ireland and the Irish.

But they appear to have played down our narcissistic tendency to roll over and have our bellies tickled.

We are a nation addicted to praise, regardless of the source of that praise. And how did 'Lonely Planet' miss out on the national broadcaster's embarrassing habit of fishing for approval? You know, where every "foreigner" is cajoled into making some complimentary remark about the old sod before he/she is allowed to leave the studio -- or being badgered into unearthing an Irish connection.

Then there is the 800-year-old blot on the British copybook that remains as indelible as ever and is regularly rolled out whenever an interviewee appears to hit a cultural nerve.

But hey, we're all great fun, and as long as the tills are ringing, we can be a Joyce or a Behan -- or whatever it takes to bring in the dosh.

Niall Ginty
Killester, Dublin 5

Irish Independent