There it is: Home.
It's good a time as any to start this thread with Brexit/talks of porous borders with Northern Ireland/UK and a possible Sweden 2.0 (population size almost the same) but with a few peculiar contradictions as well in terms of our demographics, which don't make it a forgone conclusion.
I've seen a few Irish posters here who expressed interest in such a thread being begun, so I've gone and done just that.
A country which couldn't be more progressive in parts but only 2nd to Japan as an island nation when it comes to the ability to take the piss out of foreigners when you exit the cities.
A country that will gladly accept Somalians as Irish to a chorus of "how dare you say they're not Irish" and, but laugh in private and roll their eyes at actual Irish Americans with genetic roots who go on vacation here looking for their heritage and saying "they're not really Irish, they've their own country".
I'm going to break it down as best as I can (as long as I can bear it for)
This is going to tie into and become interwined with politics because its unavoidable, Christianity is dead. Flat dead. It was dead in the late 90's and was incinerated in the 2000's. Even the small rural local area grew up, only a few families I knew went to Church en masse. Beyond the teenage years, there was a missing age group and then oldies. That was it. Of course Christmas masses were filled, so we are the defintion of cultural catholics. It only at these times does it feel a community, this hasn't changed year in year out since the 90's and I think why couldn't they do this all the time? Rather than this begruding half arsed way of doing it? Well here's why:
Persistent exposure of child sex abuse scandals were everywhere from around the early 80's to 2010 basically nuked the entire structure from orbit. Christian Brothers schools were particular hives for it. My own uncles school had 4 priests/teachers that he was taught by molesting kids when he was there, always joked he wasn't as handsome as some of the others lol, but seriously it was horrendous.
And another funny story, my grandfather went to Israel/Holy Land in the 80's with an Irish priest and tour group who he spent some nights out walking the hills and town, decent friendly fella, 10 years later on TV one evening, bang same priest convicted of pedophilia.
People still rag on the Church as a collective whipping boy/scapegoat for everything that was awful about old Ireland and there was lot, BUT it's also the sole reason why many policies get the go ahead. If it's awful for the Roman Catholicism, people are in favour of it to spite them and often purely for that alone, their thinking isn't any deeper than that. Gay marriage referendum, abortion you name its on. George Soros has his fingers stuck in all the pies over here, there is a massive activism base around Dublin and nearby Maynooth colleges (Galway especially), lots of charity swindling going on. Government is in bed with them.
The state is very socialised, we have little to no dependence and initative on ourselves, the idea of libertarianism and responsibility as in the USA is seen as cruel, not much different than many Western nations, but those unfamiliar with Ireland might think we're unruly pioneers or rebels, it's very far from the ordinary mindset. I speculate its also linked back to the Church's history, those egalitarians remnants remain. This is in a way ,why the EU is so beloved here. We wanted a daddy/god figure so bad to look over us, watching out for us so could never really fuck up and fail as a country on our own terms (EU has pumped massive amounts of money in to modernising the country infastructure the last 3 decades and we will be forever in moral debt to them and licking their shoes it seems) we never want to become independent for ourselves by ourselves. There is no appetite for it as far I can see. We were bribed and in short: we're their willing bitch.
Despite a socialized state, the money is not spent equally with many parts of rural Ireland (particularly in the North West), this may infact may be a blessing. Even until in the 90's under the watchful all seeing eye of the EU, health and safety (not dissing it) was sketchy as hell in the schools and made students and childhood a little more characterful and the people themselves charismatic and carefree and frankly HONEST in a way I can't quantify. I have stories that made city dwellers howl with their surrealism and rough and tumble comedy. And speaking of honesty:
Tall poppy syndrome and cutting down others and achievement is not only seen as common but necessary/rite of passage, but I think a great deal of it is autopilot. People will regularly swear like sailors at their nearest and dearest and even coworkers in way that make most nations would blush. SJW hasn't hit that yet. I'm guessing the more multicultural we get, the common jokes and the assumed level of comfort will decrease and so will will the comedy with it.
Getting back to, there denial of all spirituality (but therapy has taken off wouldn't you know) has become a strong cowardice to examine ourselves and each other in anyway. This denial of facts and reason is no different from the oppression of the Catholic Church in the 20th century and Islam will flatten our secular identity and Catholicism permanently. You'll think they'll let us keep it? No. I speculate we may suddenly get very attached to it in contrast to the other option.
And what did the priests do, become effette/hip to counter it. They decided went to go the other extreme, nice guys involved with local community theatre and that sort of thing....but just uninspiring. You couldn't hang a coat on them nevermind your soul.
If you haven't watched we had a TV series called the Savage Eye, it was satirical and spell painful truth about the country and social commentary. It's risque for an Irish audience (Irish scripted comedy is diabolically bad, so its not much of an achievement). Not even sure if Dave McSavage hates us or loves us and/or our past, but he's a big leftie in Dublin.
2:51 for start of difference in how priests changed:
I'll do much more politics later in a post coming very soon, or if someone else would like to do it, they're more than welcome.
I hope I've kept your attention and that my muddled thoughts have reached some level of coherence for you.
For now I'll leave you with some videos as a taste/teaser of where the country is at:
Bonus: Is this Leonard D from the forum?