Let me start off by stating, to be absolutely clear, that I am not trying to knock the Irish here. I have the utmost affection and respect for Ireland and its people.
I am also proud of my own Irish heritage, even if it does mean that I am physiologically unsuited to any climate other than a predominately wet, windy and overcast one.
Magical memories of childhood visits to the Emerald Isle have imbued me with - among other things - a lingering love of the smell of burning peat.
So much so that I have even gone as far as importing hand-cut turf from Donegal to my home in London just so that I can enjoy the nostalgic aroma from time to time.
And when I listen to Fields of Athenry, a folk song that tells the story of a husband put on a prison ship to Australia after steeling corn to feed his starving family during the Great Famine, I am rarely left without a tear in my eye (both of pain and shame).
I also used to think the pride shown on St Patrick’s Day was one of the most wonderful things,Read More »from St Patrick’s Day has become a cringeworthy festival of consumerism