Garry and I were surprised by the cleanliness and the high standard of living in Ireland. It was apparent that the Irish take a great deal of pride in their homes.
For our one week visit, we spent time in Dublin, Clontibret a tiny village, where some of Garry’s ancestors came from, Coleraine in Northern Ireland, Sligo, Doolin, Limerick and Kildare. The countryside is pristine and dotted with large homes. With sleek clean lines, almost austere, many appear to have had a Scandinavian influence in terms of design.
The Irish accent is lovely…much softer than the British accent. But we learned to keep listening ears on, as many residents talk very fast.
We were also surprised with the amount of Irish Gaelic we heard around us. There is some effort to keep Gaelic [or Irish] alive in the Republic, with an ongoing debate over signage that most Canadians would understand.
While Ireland works to preserve Irish as a language many in Northern Ireland feel threatened by any perceived incursion of the Irish language. Particularly right wing politicians from the North see Irish language signage as an attempt to erase the British heritage of the north.
The city of ‘Londonderry’ in the North, is known as Derry in the south. Many road signs in the north had ‘London’ spray painted over as a sign that the conflict is never far from the surface.