An Irishman's Diary


A History of Ireland in 100 Questions.

1. Any crack?

2. Have yiz no homes to go to?

3. An bhfuil cead agam dul amach?

4. Anyone buyin’ or sellin’ a ticket?

5. Is it yerself that’s in it?

6. Are you dancin’?

7. Are you askin’?

8. Will we go into the field, Bridie?

9. Would you like to be buried with my people?

10. Want bangers, love?

11. Anyone for the last few choc ices?

12. Were you born in a field?

13. Who’s yer man?

14. How’s yer father?

15. Amn’t I the unfortunate woman?!

16. How many Irish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?

17. None – sure amn’t I grand here sitting in the dark?

18. Do you renounce Satan and all his works?

19. And all his empty promises?

20. But are you a Catholic Atheist or a Protestant Atheist?

21. ’Story, bud?

22. How’s she cuttin’?

23. Are ye right there, Michael?

24. Is it about a bicycle?

25. Captain Boyle: An’ as it blowed an’ blowed, I ofen looked up at the sky an’ assed meself the question – what is the stars, what is the stars?

26. Joxer: Ah, that’s the question, that’s the question – what is the stars?

27. Boyle: An’ then, I’d have another look, an’ I’d ass meself – what is the moon?

28. Joxer: Ah, that’s the question – what is the moon, what is the moon?

29. Quis separabit?

30. Cui Bono?

31. Who shot Michael Collins?

32. Will you go, lassie, go?

33. As I went home on Monday night as drunk as drunk could be/I saw a horse outside the door where my old horse should be/Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me/Who owns that horse outside the door where my old horse should be?

34-39: (See No 33, questions arising from drunken nights Tuesday to Sunday, inclusive).

40. Who fears to speak of ’Ninety-eight?

41. Who blushes at the name?

42. When cowards mock the patriot’s fate, who hangs his head for shame?

43. I met the Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand/And he said “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”

44. Will you march with O’Neill, to an Irish battlefield?

45. Will you come? Will you, will you? Will you come to the bower?

46. How are things in Glocca Morra?

47. Is that little brook still leaping there?

48. Does it still run down to Donny cove?

49. Through Killybegs, Kilkerry and Kildare?

50. What need you, being come to sense/But fumble in a greasy till/And add the halfpence to the pence/And prayer to shivering prayer/Until you had dried the marrow from the bone?

51. Was it for this the wild geese spread/The grey wing on every tide/For this that all that blood was shed/For this Edward Fitzgerald died?

52. Did that play of mine send out/Certain men the English shot?

53. Says my oul’ one to your oul’ one: will you come to the Galway Races?

54. I suppose you’ve not been to Drumcolliher?

55. And what rough beast is this, its hour come round at last?

56. “What have I now?” (said the fine old woman)?

57. Would Mr Churchill as an Englishman who believed that his own nation had as good a right to freedom as any other . . . whilst Germany still maintained the partition of his country and occupied six counties of it, would he lead this partitioned England to join with Germany in a crusade?

58. Would he think the people of partitioned England an object of shame if they stood neutral in such circumstances?

59. Could he not find in his heart the generosity to acknowledge that there is a small nation that stood alone not for one year or two, but for several hundred years against aggression; that endured spoliations, famines, massacres in endless succession; that was clubbed many times into insensibility, but that each time on returning to consciousness took up the fight anew?

60. What do we want? (One man, one vote!)

61. When do we want it? (Now!)

62. With their tanks and guns/My God what have the done?

63. Who put the ball in the English net? (Ray-o, Ray-o)

64. Who put the ball in the English net? (Ray-o, Ray-o Houghton).

65. How’s it going there everybody/from Cork, New York, Dundalk, Gortahork, and Glenamaddy?

66. (Let’s go.) (We can’t go.) Why not? (We’re waiting for Godot.)

67. And what did he die of so young, Greta? Consumption, was it?

68. Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.

69. How do Jacobs get the figs into the fig-rolls?

70. What’s another year?

71. Why me?

72. And now can we have the votes of the Norwegian jury?

73. Guess who just got back today? (Them wild-eyed boys that have been away).

74. (Micheal O’Hehir, September 1982): But I wonder could there be a goal in this game yet?

75. Brendan O’Brien (to Martin Cahill): Do you know who “the General is?”

76. Cahill: An army officer?

77. And who is stepping up to take the penalty? (David O’Leary of Arsenal! [...] A nation holds its breath.)

78. Would you like a nice cup of tea, fathers?

79. What’s that all about, Ted?

80. (Knock knock!) Who’s there? (Father Dougal McGuire.) (Good night, Dougal.)

81. Abortion.

82. Divorce.

83. Maastricht.

84. Nice 1.

85. Nice 2.

86. Lisbon 1.

87. Lisbon 2.

88. Is it getting better/Or do you feel the same?

89. Will it make it easier on you now you got someone to blame?

90. But if the other parties in this come to you, Roy: the FAI, Mick McCarthy – a proud man – the players – if they come to you and say for the good of the country, we want to find a solution to this, are you willing to meet them half way?

91. But, are you happy? (Labour election slogan 2007)

92. Can you name any of the horses you won the money on, taoiseach?

93. When did you leave the IRA, Martin?

94. People are saying you sounded half-way between drunk and hungover, taoiseach — is it true?

95. Where’s my Nama, Joe?

96. Labour’s way or Frankfurt’s way?

97. Roysh?

98. Where’s your f**king pride?

99. Will we get a receipt for this money?

100. Will we f**k!?!