Saturday 18 November 2017

Letters: EU and Commonwealth talk is sapping our identity

The late actor Cyril Cusack
The late actor Cyril Cusack
The late Cyril Cusack

In the early 1990s, whilst on home-leave from Kenya, I developed a two-month long friendship with Cyril Cusack. Our Irish-African connections further cultured the friendship and we left no stone unturned in our twice weekly verbal jousts over afternoon tea in a Dun Laoghaire hotel.

He was, of course, a great Irish stage and screen actor, but not many know that he was also a great philosopher and analyst, particularly on all matters Irish. He had an eagle eye for detail and his fingers were well placed on the pulse of Ireland. To me, he epitomised all the qualities of pure 'Irishness'.

Not long before our last meeting, he leaned close to my ear and half whispered: "You know James, the problem with us Irish is that we have an identity problem; we don't quite know who we are, or who or what we want to be; and it seems, we never will!"

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