When I think of Ireland, the images conjured up in my head are a jumble of memories, maps, photos, Visit Ireland adverts and downright stereotypes. My perceptions of the Emerald Isle are, for the most part, extremely positive. There’s the lilting accent, the beautiful coastline, the luscious greenery, the myths and legends, the craic (humour) and the dancing. It only takes one attendance at a Céilidh or a single viewing of the interval display of the première of Riverdance at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest held in Dublin to feel yourself being gravitated across the Irish Sea.
It has always struck me that Ireland is an island steeped in traditions and superstition. Be it kissing the blarney stone for luck or wearing a shamrock there is a sense of being guided by supernatural beings. The breathtaking landscapes, the majority of which lie unchanged and unpopulated, only add to the natural beauty and mystery of the place, whilst its villages, towns and cities have produced some of the most notable writers, actors and musicians known to all.
Kenneth Branagh, Michael Fassbender, Sir Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Liam Neeson, Enya, Sinead O’Connor, The Corrs, Westlife, Ronan Keating, Eoin Colfer, Roddy Doyle, Maeve Binchy, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce, C S Lewis, William Yeats, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde are just a few which “spring to mind”. Whilst doing background research for this post I also discovered that revered milliner Philip Treacy is also Irish which surely garners respect for the country.
Images of mythical creatures often associated with Ireland such as leprechauns can be found gracing the sashes of brownie packs across the world, whilst writers such as J K Rowling have brought them to life on the printed page. Her descriptions of the Irish supporters at the fictitious Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire erecting tents bedecked with shamrocks and waving orange, white and green flags for all they were worth has stayed with me as it always seemed an accurate description of Irish, well, togetherness. It is sad that this is juxtaposed by events such as the recent bombings in Londonderry, especially as the city has been named Uk City of Culture for 2013. We can only hope that peaceful solutions can be found to existing conflicts and that the future of Ireland as a nation is a bright one.
- Green nail polish = Barry M
- Ring = Charity shop
- Shirt = H&M
- Cardigan = Charity shop
- Belt = Dorothy Perkins
- Necklace = Present
- Beret = Present