Dear World. Don't believe Irish stereotypes
There are four of them in public life, including the paterfamilias, Jackie. Danny’s son Johnny was one of the five who voted in favour of the idea. The family specialises in showboating and twists of logic that are quite elegant in their own way.
Only last year, Danny’s brother Michael (a member of parliament here) made the ludicrous suggestion that 2013 number plates should avoid using the number 13 for superstitious reasons. Actually, that one was adopted, so bad example. But you get the point.
Even though the drink-driving story received an embarrassing level of coverage in Ireland too, we understand the rules of the game. We know the story is representative of a world view so narrow it can be seen only through the beer taps on a pub counter.
We also know that the councillors’ motion has no power whatsoever. Honestly, if five toddlers were to have made the suggestion in finger paint, it would have had almost as much weight.
You could not know any of this, World. Still, the story came in a week in which a viral video of a “funny Irish news report” was also doing the rounds. This hilariously detailed “report” on a fight was actually from a TV comedy show, Irish Pictorial Weekly, and its excellence came from being so close to the real thing that even Irish people were passing it around Facebook as genuine.
But what is worrying is that both relate to particular stereotypes – drinking and fighting – that Ireland is uncomfortable with. We understand. We ourselves are not strangers to the lure of a good stereotype.
But we ask this: the next time you see an Irish stereotype pop up on, say, Google News, ignore it. Move on. Or at least question it, take it with a pinch of salt. After all, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you may want to consider the possibility that it is not, in fact, a duck.
As some of you will be aware (hello, Denmark), it could be a beautiful swan. Or we’ll accept being one of the less-annoying breeds of seagull.
Anyway, apologies for the intrusion. Everyone here says hello and hopes you have a great 2013. Just keep sending those cheques.
Only joking! (A wire transfer will suffice.)
Kind regards, Ireland.