This was eventually to lead me studying Philosophy but not before that admiration/pride for my nations glories were nearly suffocated by eight years of increasingly unsurprisingly tragic history lessons/thought/tutelage.
From roughly the age of 9 until 18, Irish History class concerns its students with Ireland from the Norman Invasion of Ireland onwards. The blind patriotism and passion of a ten-year old changes to near-apathy as the ‘education’ completes. This I only realised when I became wholly present in 2005 during those inspiring lectures in Celtic Studies at Maynooth University. Finally an in-breath for the sunken foundations of history. I realised that the myths, legends, culture and life of old Gaelic Ireland were not fascinating, but essential. Essential to every person whose life is furnished in, and with, Ireland. I felt that most Irish people knew, somewhat unconsciously, that the modern Irish psyche lacked self-esteem. Few knew that what was termed ‘pride’, was merely a veneer. The substance has rotted away, slowing, but surely throughout the centuries; the core, empty.
So I knew that a solemn quest would be to somewhat restore that pride. To express to the general populace the pride and glory of Ireland’s pre-colonisation millennia would not be easy. I didn’t know where to begin. Perhaps, I should start with ears that were not only open, but welcoming. Those that travel Ireland because they know that there’s so much culture and mystery here. I would have to tell them the stories and the journey. Their open minds would be fascinated by the Ireland I feel, and that would grow to pride/love. They would bring it back home and pass it to friends, family and people they met there. And eventually, a ‘Saint Patrick’ would come back to Ireland, to put us on the right path. The Irish would then one day, once again, truly embrace their land and culture with the pride that was stolen from them.