Years ago in a Manchester bedsit I was playing Trivial Pursuits with some actor friends. The question ‘What is the capital city of Ireland?’ came up and Lynne said ‘London.’ She was an intelligent, cultured young woman which made it all the worse. I couldn’t pretend it was all right. It wasn’t all right.
I am not suggesting that we should return to the horrors of childhood and learn the capitals of all the countries in the world. But surely our neighbours? For me, Lynne’s answer was as wrong as if the question had been ‘What’s the capital city of France?’
And now in the mire of Brexit and the remarkable ascendance of Sinn Féin, the ignorance of some (too many) British people is on display again. I read in a newspaper some eejit suggesting that Ireland should reunite with the United Kingdom! Just a quick 5 minutes on Google would have been enough to learn something about the 800 years of British oppression in Ireland the slaughter, the torture, the economic thuggery.
The sea, oh the sea is the gradh geal mo croide**the love of my heart
Long may it stay between England and me
It’s a sure guarantee that some hour we’ll be free
Oh! thank God we’re surrounded by water