My mental knuckle-fight with Irishness

How can we hope to create an integrated society if Irishness remains a closed club and if generations of children are growing up feeling excluded from their country of birth?

Roisín O’Donnell: when we were little we prized anything from Ireland: Club Orange, Mikado biscuits, clove rock, brandy balls – valued contraband rationed to outlast the summer. Photograph: Daithi Taylor

Roisín O’Donnell: when we were little we prized anything from Ireland: Club Orange, Mikado biscuits, clove rock, brandy balls – valued contraband rationed to outlast the summer. Photograph: Daithi Taylor

Perhaps it’s because of my uneasiness with my own Irishness, but I’ve always written characters from elsewhere. I’m fully aware of the irony of my position as an Irish writer of short stories.

I spent most of my four-year English-studies degree at Trinity College Dublin avoiding any module with the words “Irish” or “short story” in the title.

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