Wednesday 27 February 2019

An Irish legend re-told by John Fitzpatrick

At his new blog: Deep Britain and Ireland.

I have read a fair bit of Irish literature, but mostly material of the past 400 years (since Edmund Spenser) and never much of the mythical material John is using here. I have just picked-up bits and pieces from Fantasy Literature and asides from Flann O'Brien.

I am 1/4 Irish by descent (probably enough to get a passport until recently); but have never regarded myself as such - in this, going against the modern (and Leftist) trend of claiming Irishness on the slightest of ancestry, or simply surname. Mostly this is because I don't feel an emotional affinity with Ireland, but do with England.

And this is also related to my relatives being Protestants (for three previous generations, anyway) and from the North - and having not retained the Irish cultural forms when they migrated to England.

Nonetheless, if I was featured on a TV programme researching my ancestry, it would surely be my Catholic great-great grandfather from County Donegal who would attract the most attention - since he was convicted of murder then quickly pardoned (due to the extreme provocation), and the case was well documented in the newspapers of the period. It was he who changed his name and denomination (at some point, it may have been before the above incident) from Catholic Gormley to Protestant Graham - and his descendants, my ancestors, retained both changes.  

1 comment:

dearieme said...

I'm a quarter Irish too and have several Roman Catholic cousins. Or formerly RC cousins - sometimes it's hard to be sure.

The detail of the connections means that I am unsentimental about Oirishness and the Roman church.

Have you ever tried commenting on a blog thread about Oirishry? I did once: somebody was banging on about Niall of the Nine Hostages, and I said cheerily "Ah yes, the chap with the Anglo-Saxon mother." The foaming indignation that greeted this remark was most amusing. Evidently among the Oirish it's de rigeur to be extremely selective about which bits of folklore you espouse.