Ireland, Cultural traditions, and Them Next Door

Every now and then, Fintan O’Toole ’s gaze moves away from lofty matters of national import, to consider the state of popular culture.

The result is a National Squirm. There are people who understand VIP and Hello magazine but Fintan, for all his merits, is not one of those people. I still recall how marvellously he missed the point when he wrote about Donegal band Goats Don’t Shave close to two decades ago. It came as news to him that we’d heard of Las Vegas in the northwest.

Yesterday, Fintan focussed his considerable intellect on the Grimes twins, John and Edward (known as Jedward known to fans and haters alike).

The twins, the énimence grise of D’Olier Street declared, are ‘the unbearably poignant last gasp of Celtic Tiger culture.’

‘Wrapped in the magical cloak of self-delusion that is woven by year after year of lavish assurance that you are utterly, unalterably wonderful…Jedward is a detoxified version of the toxic cocktail of arrogance and ineptitude that has done so much harm.’

Fintan is wrong.

Jedward are two young men who have gone to England to seek their fortune. And that is an Irish cultural tradition much older than the Celtic Tiger.

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and tweeter, yet still finds himself underemployed. Go figure!