Donegal Democrat tells it like it is

The Donegal Democrat is carrying the results of a survey it commissioned on attitudes to various topics with respondents throughout the county. The results make interesting reading, and it appears to be a very honest snapshot of feelings and attitudes in the area. 38% of people surveyed do not think the arrival of foriegn nationals in recent times is a good thing. The paper’s editor pointed out that the ‘don’t knows’ in this category were 20%, much higher than for any other question, so the figure of unease toward foreign nationals may be much higher than it appears. 92% of those surveyed felt sex before marriage was OK, a fact that hasn’t gone down well with the local catholic authorities. No matter what the results or interpretations are, it’s healthy and productive to ventilate these issues and illuminating for all of us to place our perceptions up against reality and critically evaluate the two.

  • Rory

    It’s not sex before marriage the clergy need be concerned about, Miss Fitz, it’s sex after marriage when it has all become a bit routine and the eye starts to wander. The clergy would be better off giving advice from Dr Alex Comfort, or some such, than relying on their Vatican handouts when dispensing advice on that topic.

    Anyway I bet they never had any trouble with that nice Donegal lad, Daniel O’Donnell, on the old pre-marital shenanigans front.

  • Miss Fitz

    I can’t bear when people criticise Daniel O’Donnell.

    He may not be to my musical or masculine tastes, but he is a decent, honest, generous and genuine guy from everything I can see. He gives of his time unstintingly and anonymously to countless charities and feeds back to his fans, particularly the ill or vulnerable ones in a way that makes them feel cherished and important. Yet he gets pilloried for loving his mother, having a deep faith, falling in love or making tea for his fans.

    Maybe girls prefer the bad boy image, but it never ceases to amaze me how much bad press a good guy gets. Compare that to any amount of useless, sleazy, self obsessed, drug fuelled rock stars who will have any amount of fans and followings despite the paucity of their musical ability.

    I think if we were all a little more like Daniel and a little less like……. (fill in the blank) we’d all be better off.

  • fair_deal

    missfitz

    Never had you down as a US Republican “We need a nation closer to the Waltons than to the Simpsons” George Bush 1992 😉

  • Rory

    Easy on, Miss Fitz. I quite agree with your perceptions of our Daniel. He has a much larger female following than you might imagine. In Britain, because in the charts sales listings he regularly commanded 6-9 out of 10 of the Top Ten places in the Country and Western section, they decided to remove him altogether into a ‘Daniel O’Donnell’ section all of his own. The closest thing to that kind of chart domination was ‘Little Miss Dynamite’, Brenda Lee back in the 60’s.

    But he is an icon and his iconic status is largely prefigured on his clean-cut, boy-next-door, kind-to-his-mother image and that imagery is fair play to poke gentle fun at when discussing topics (such as sex before marriage) which might run counter to it.

    Now, excuse me, please, while I pop on a Willie Nelson tape. Nobody’s ever accused Willie of being ‘clean-cut’.

  • Miss Fitz

    Maybe as a mother of daughters, who have brought home a succession of pierced, punked, metalled, hob nailed booted, spaced, final fantasied, grunged, stoned and unemployed prospects- I long for a clean shaven, decent, and working son in law.

    Is it too much to ask?

  • Miss Fitz

    Rory!
    Our posts crossed, and SNAP!

  • Yer Woman

    I too am a Daniel fan Miss Fitz, and I’m 27 years old! I no fan of his music mind, but he brought years of happiness to my countless elderly relatives in rural Derry for which gave me great comic entertainment, and I love him for his pure unadulterated kitsch camp appeal. I’d have him over Dominic Kerwin any day – or, God forbid, Hugo Duncan!

    Anyways, back to original blog. I just thought I’d share the fact that I was at two catholic weddings recently near Donegal (and when I say Donegal I mean Derry 😉 ) and both priests made profuse apologies to the happy couples when it came to section of the mass where they are required to give the couple advice on how to make a marriage work.

    A friend of mine is getting married in September and has been living with her husband-to-be and their 3 children for 9 years now. But it seems her parish priest still wants them to take lessons in marriage from HIM before he’ll marry them! It surprises me in this day and age that such outdated practices are still enforced by the cafflick church and that parishioners still support them, and I’m afraid Donegal is no different.

  • slug

    Miss Fitz? You have masculine tastes? Into beer and footy then?

  • Ringo

    Does it give any figures for sex WITH foreign nationals? Now that would be really useful for segmentation….

  • Nevin

    Miss Fitz,

    My brother-in-law was attending a funeral service in a CoI church in Co Armagh some years ago when he suddenly noted familiar tones from a few seats further back. It was none other than Daniel paying his respects to one of his older fans. During the proceedings he placed a single rose on her coffin.

  • smcgiff

    ‘During the proceedings he placed a single rose on her coffin.’

    Bloody cheek. Taking liberties and all that!

  • Greenflag

    ‘38% of people surveyed do not think the arrival of foriegn nationals in recent times is a good thing. ‘

    Look on the bright side Miss Fitz . At least 38% is a lot lower than than the 90% or more who think that the arrival of members of the travelling community in their neighbourhood is a bad thing . I’m sure that that 38 % is a lot lower than the percentage ‘welcoming’ the arrival of a large number of Republicans into Loyalist areas of Belfast or of Loyalists into Republican areas .

    The arrival of large numbers of ‘non national’s ‘ in any society causes ‘stress’. It can be seen as a threat to a way of life , or seen to increase competition for scarce jobs /resources etc etc . It’s how a society copes or adapts to that stress is what will determine it’s future prosperity . So far in my book the Irish Republic is doing fine .

    This ‘recent’ phenomenon in Europe has many causes some of them going back to the mass slaughter of tens of millions in World War 1 and the same again in World War 2 . Add in the effect of increased ‘civil ‘ rights for women , the widespread adoption of family planning techniques ,abortion, increased life expectancy , and it’s a no brainer why ‘immigration’ has become necessary to keep western economies from imploding .

    The simple fact of present day economic life is that without ‘mass immigration’ economies like the USA, Germany, UK, France , Holland , Italy and now Ireland cannot maintain much less increase the standard of living of their populations .

    Of course the women in all of the above countries could forsake professional careers and return to the days of 5 or more children per family and accept that many of their children would of neccessity have to accept lower paid work.?

    About as likley to happen as a DUP/SF power sharing set up in NI where both parties share 100% trust.

    Based on present trends there will be more ‘immigrants ‘ in the Irish Republic by 2016 than there are Unionists in Northern Ireland in 2006 .

    ‘Maybe as a mother of daughters, who have brought home a succession of pierced, punked, metalled, hob nailed booted, spaced, final fantasied, grunged, stoned and unemployed prospects- I long for a clean shaven, decent, and working son in law.

    Is it too much to ask?’

    No it’s not . Perhaps you need to look to the immigrant community :)?

  • Rory

    I wonder if Willie Fraser has any of Daniel’s CD’s? Do you think I should send him one along with the ABBA and the Judy Garland?

  • Greenflag

    ‘92% of those surveyed felt sex before marriage was OK, a fact that hasn’t gone down well with the local catholic authorities. ‘

    The local catholic authorities obviously had an easier time accepting the fact of paedophile priests in the community which is why they kept their mouths shut for so long , and shunted these priests around from parish to parish .

  • Rory

    Sex before marriage was just “O.K.”? In my day it was bloody terrific! Maybe they’re not doing it right.

  • The People’s Front of Judea

    Ringo:
    “Does it give any figures for sex WITH foreign nationals? Now that would be really useful for segmentation…”

    A pertinent question.

    I grew up in a small village with an ethnic minority pop of 2 families. Any suspicion that might have been there on the part of ‘local’ youths was replaced by an altogether different
    feeling at the addition of a few mre pretty girls to the slim pickings on offer.

    Hopefully the recent influx of eastern european workers will have a similar effect. There’s plenty of big strapping lads about and some mindblowing lithuanian girls.

    I wonder what their thoughts are on sex before marriage…

  • Stephen Copeland

    The People’s Front of Judea,

    Hopefully the recent influx of eastern european workers will have a similar effect.

    It already has. I already know two people who have married eastern European women – one Polish, the other Lithuanian. And I have no doubt that there are plenty more.

  • Keith M

    Donegal is an odd place, or so I’m told. I’ve never visited as I was brought up in Limerick and the road and rail networks made travelling to Donegal an absolute nightmare and since moving to Dublin almost 20 years ago, I tend to take my break outside of Ireland. Those that have visited tell me that the coastal scenery is amazing (although having had Kerry and Clare on my doorstep, I probably wouldn’t be so easily impressed), but that the people are the oddest bunch you’ll find anywhere in Ireland.

    I think Donegal is a tad like Sicily is to Italians, very pretty, quite remote, and perceived as being semi-lawless and populated by people who are not quite “us”.

    As for Daniel O’Donnell, with over 20 hits in the UK albums charts (many of them in the Top 10), I think he’s laughing all the way to the bank and as someone mentioned above, he is very generous with his fans.

  • Nathan

    “92% of those surveyed felt sex before marriage was OK, a fact that hasn’t gone down well with the local catholic authorities.”

    This is a very high figure considering that some Donegal towns still retain a strong Catholic ethos – Buncrana in particular which contains the highest proportion of Catholics in the Irish Republic.

  • fair_deal

    Keith M

    “very pretty, quite remote, and perceived as being semi-lawless and populated by people who are not quite “us”.”

    That’s because it should have been ours 😉

  • Fraggle

    Not wanting to play the man or anything but Keith M, from your views on a wide range of matters, I’d say you would be considered by a lot of Irish people as being not quite “us”.

  • Canadian

    Donegal was my favorit County when I was in ROI last summer.

    Who the hell is Daniel O’Donnell!!!!?

  • Rory

    Be careful, Canadian. Be very, very careful. If you had been caught in Donegal professing ignorance of the blessed Daniel you might never have left.

    Daniel O’Donnell is a very sweet faced, sweet voiced Irish singer in the country and western mould – a bit like Jim Reeves except he possesses a quite startlingly naive innocent handsomeness.

    Because of his wholesomeness (which in today’s world seems to us cynics almost too good to be true and yet is absolutely genuine – the guy is just a hell of a decent guy who happens to have a voice and style of singing that appeals to a wide base)and because his repetoire includes really lovely old ballads and romantic love songs that we all must pretend to despise (for fashion’s sake), yet secretly really, really like, opinion on him is divided. Nice decent people tend to really like him and hard boiled old codgers like me must pretend not to (but secretly do).

    He is both an icon, generally thought to be venerated by spinster ladies, widows and (whisper it not!) the gay community, and also an easy figure of disparagement by smarty alecks like me when I find him a useful target.

    And I should know better and should indeed be ashamed of meself but, damnit, he’s just so handy to make a smart-ass point sometimes. Such is the price of fame.

    Glad you liked Donegal, Canadian. To me, since I first set foot there, it was very heaven itself and all the kind people angels therein – and I come from where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea and was already used to paradise on earth. Ask Miss Fitz, she’ll confirm and she’s a Yankee blow-in so quite objective on the matter, though her heart is so lost in the Mournes now she should be it’s Minister for tourism – Jeezus! maybe she already is.

  • Nevin

    Rory, Germaine Greer better not set foot in Donegal!!

  • missfitz

    Is no one interested in the intolerance toward foreign nationals, or have I inadvertently started a Daniel thread? Or sex in Donegal, or the lack or mores, or the police being popular????

    Canadian: The joke is…….

    What has 10 teeth and 200 legs?

    Answer: Front row of a Daniel O’Donell concert…..

  • Cynic

    ’38% of people surveyed do not think the arrival of foreign nationals in recent times is a good thing’

    …but remember …this was a survey in Donegal where Sligo seems a foreign country and then there’s all them Dubliners and Derry people buying up the houses..it shouldn’t be allowed

  • Cynic

    Perhaps Northern Prods should reconsider…….sounds a hell of a lot more fun than this corner of the island

  • Canadian

    “Be careful, Canadian. Be very, very careful. If you had been caught in Donegal professing ignorance of the blessed Daniel you might never have left.”

    hahhaha… That’s like say’n Don’t mention you don’t know who Bryan Adams is or you’ll never get out of Canada alive!!!

    Having spent most of my two trips to NI & ROI in Belfast. I think I can handle Donegal 😉

    Missfitz, That was a good one! I’ll be sure to use it and switch out Daniel O’Donnell for someone else. Nobody here will know who he is.

  • PaddyReilly
  • Canadian

    Thanks Paddy,

    There were some real good ones!

  • Who the hell is Daniel O’Donnell!!!!?

    It’s what you get when you mix the DNA of Lawrence Welk and Liberace in a blender.

    I always lead off conversations with an inquiry of DOD just to get them on the defensive: It cuts down on the amount of crap I have to take because of Bush by an order of magnitude.

  • Nevin

    Seems he’s got Majella chained to the lap-top.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ’92% of those surveyed felt sex before marriage was OK, a fact that hasn’t gone down well with the local catholic authorities.

    Looks like all those altar boys were married then………

  • Rory

    There has most definitely got to be something especially saintly about a man with a wife named Majella.

    Normally only nuns are allowed to have lovely names like that – and even then the Bishop would be dead lucky to have even half a chance with them.

    So you see, fellas, if you brush your teeth regular every night before bed, say your Rosary and, above all, be good to yer mammy, then good things may come your way.

    (Why is Majella giving me funny looks when I just said that?)

  • ahhhhh

    Its not sex outside marriage priests need to worry about, its getting caught having sex with young boys as they often do.

  • inquisitive

    Rory

    “There has most definitely got to be something especially saintly about a man with a wife named Majella.

    Normally only nuns are allowed to have lovely names like that – and even then the Bishop would be dead lucky to have even half a chance with them. ”

    Not being funny, but are you a spastic Rory ?

  • MICK

    please to hear they have discovered sex in Donegal.

  • Rory

    Nevin

    Don’t worry about Germaine, I have a wee bit of a soft spot for her. Herself says “a wee bit of a soft spot” is all I have entirely these days. What ever can she mean by that I wonder?

    Anyway, if they kick Germaine outa Donegal she can always come and stay with me in sunny Tottenham. That’ll put Herself’s nose outa joint all right.

    Inquisitive –

    Very true. You were not very funny. Don’t go in for the stand-up open mic night for God’s sake.

    No, I don’t think I’m spastic. At least not the last time I looked anyway. But tonight being Saturday is bath night and I’ll have another check just to make sure. Anyway I am touched by your kind concern for my health. Thank you.