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

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…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty