Ireland: “It’s simply not a country you can admire…”

YouTube video

This is just a clip from a fantastic long interview of the late Nuala O’Faolain by Anthony Clare… It was recorded just two years after the first divorce referendum… Here’s a short except from the rough recording above:

NO’F: It’s not, I don’t think, a morally admirable country…

AC: In what way?

NO’F: Well I don’t think standards of citizen are extremely high. That is as mildly as you can put it.

AC: Give me an example?

NO’F: Well I mean people are loyal to their families and loving to their families and sometimes to their mates. But that’s about it. I think if there wasn’t PAYE I don’t think anyone would pay taxes. I mean it is not a country you can sit back and admire the way you can admire Holland. And there’s the north. It’s simply not a country you can admire. What it is is a country you can endlessly enjoy. But you see yourself that that’s a bind. You should only enjoy what you can admire.

AC: Is it a country that endlessly provoked you to try and change it?

NO’F: Yes. It is a country in which you want influence.

AC: To do what?

NO’F: To draw attention to strokes and corruption. Or to draw attention to utterly double faced ways of thinking. I mean not that you want to give out all the time.

But do watch the whole thing whilst it’s there on RTE…

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