Main de Dieu – what it tells us about national characters

Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson certainly inherited father Nigel’s splendid disdain for group think over world scale matters like climate change and spending out of a recession. I marvel how exquisitely he gets right up the noses of Irish and British alike in a few phrases, over that notorious qualifier.

In the case of Thierry Henry’s handling of the ball, which led to the French scoring a decisive goal in their World Cup eliminator against the Republic of Ireland, an entire nation has taken on the role of unjustly oppressed victim — something the Irish do well, having had several centuries of practice…
The Irish should be especially dismayed by the way the British press has lavished such sympathy on them for their misfortune in the Stade de France, as it merely demonstrates that we still condescendingly feel Ireland is an extension of the United Kingdom

Well, to me and many others without condescension, the ROI has always been a home nation. Fintan O’Toole’s reflection is nearer the mark.

It would have been almost comforting had Ireland failed because they were simply not good enough. Fatalism is still the default condition of Irish culture.