17 Apr 2011

Ireland: a choice of aspirations, a crisis of loyalty, a home to live in.

A recent visit to the family holiday destination of my teenage years washed up memories of Edna O’Brien, De Dannan and soft plumes of burning peat. Donegal never fails to stir passions and our love for this wild and beautiful land.
It is a dark, lonely and adventurous track to the holiday cottage, There was initial doubt in my choice of direction. But knowing Donegal it is best to stay on course and follow directions from those who have before paved the way.

The piercing wail of a banshee forewarns of tragedy.

“When you are poor for so long the taste of money from a spoon can be so sweet to a tired life,” I heard it on the wind. A shivering wail from the mysterious Banshee.

Aspirations to match the success of others is understandable and I believe every country has its fair share of those who would do irrational deals just to taste from the spoon of wealth.
The upgraded renovations to this thatched cottage outside of Killybegs retains traditional rural characteristics. A way of paying homage to human presence who developed a relationship with its environment.

Regeneration in general, is an aspect of progress alleviating the misery of poverty. It gives opportunity to enjoy comfort while appreciating our ancestor’s contribution to culture.
The house next door misses this principal to the land and its culture. It marries money to debt which in turn leads to misery. “What’s it for” I asked a local. “It’s a guy’s holiday home, he used to live around here in poverty, in dreadful conditions, he got good in England, now this is his statement. ”

Con's cottage Killybegs
Cormack's cottage Killybegs
“Better to be poor and free than rich and in bondage.” The calling cry of endless rebellion and insurrection.

For most of us individuals seeking improvement to our standards the answer to this call will never be tested.
But for Ireland there is no doubt. Our debt is to our traditions and culture and not the debt slave traders of modern politics, property monarchs and gladiator bankers.

As for the owner of the big one on the hill. Seems like, according to local legend, he renovated the old family hovel and lives there contented he became a success.