Hi. I live in the UK but succumbed to the charm and married an Irish chap 4 years ago.
We went over to Ireland for our honeymoon for me to meet his family and I've been besotted ever since. Our dream retirement would be in Ireland - wonderful place for a quiet life writing while the husband does his singer/songwriter thing far from the madding crowd.
Kind of cool, but I understood most of your headline. All those superfluous letters! I'm not Irish-Irish, I'm American-Irish. My Ancestors were from Cork, and came over on the boat escaping the blight. Lived in squalor in New York until the war (ww2), where they finally started to make some money. It is a sad story. My father's dad got crushed in an elevator accident, and lived but was bed ridden his whole life, and there were 20 people living in the apartment (the whole shebang). Would like to hear your take on all of this from the gealtacht pov.
As an outsider looking in my impression is that the Irish have a real sense of self, a generosity of spirit and an optimistic resilience to hardship. The thing that isn't obvious is overt sadness. There is a great sense of National pride and identity regardless of any geographical barrier. Every injustice ever showered on the Irish by the English is not forgotten, or forgiven, it becomes part of life held in memorium (like a beloved relative sitting in the corner of the living room). Every Levelled house still stands untouched and you cant make a house visit without being fed. My husbands grandfathers family is from Co Mayo where some of the hardest effects of the great hunger were felt. Yes, Ireland has for far too long been considered a poilitical bolt on to England, but the Irish will always be Irish first.
Living here for 5 years now - recognise Gaelige to hear/see but don't speak or read it, I'm afraid. I was kind of hoping to pick some up when my youngest went into JI (the others were already in SI or higher when we arrived) but it didn't happen :-(