Traditional Ireland ‘hard to find’

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Modern Ireland has swapped peat bogs and hot stews for motorways and double lattes, a newly-updated guidebook claimed. Visitors must trek to the farthest-flung corners of the country to experience the authentic Emerald Isle, according to the ninth edition of Lonely Planet’s Ireland best-seller. “Contemporary Ireland is not altogether different from any other European country,” the book’s authors warn.

Well it’s partly true, especially in the cities, there is still plenty of Ireland’s other more traditional personality to be found. I came from Dublin to settle in a beautiful part of Co Clare, and while it’s true I don’t have to travel far to get my latte fix, I am also right in the heart of beautiful scenery with a real sense of tradition and time on my doorstep. When I go for a walk, drivers still salute me as they pass by, an old tradition which I remember from my childhood holidays in the country. People are friendly and welcoming and that hasn’t changed. While the local coffee shops serve lattes and cappucinos, the local pubs also serve up pints of guinness and great traditional music and atmosphere.  I believe there is still plenty of the traditional Ireland to keep visitors coming – that’s not the problem with dwindling tourist numbers. Our prices are too high and our service can be shoddy and yes, it rains too much but I still know of many overseas visitors who find enough of the Irish welcome and traditions to keep coming back. People like Denis, a blogger acquaintance of mine who visited Ireland for the first time last year and found a sense of history and tradition throughout his travels. “Everything seems ancient, compressed.  History hangs over the landscape”, he wrote afterwards. 

You can read more of his impressions of Ireland by clicking here.

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8 responses »

  1. And the same is true of Galway – there’s a sense of rural camaraderie and ease which is quite endearing. I could say quite a bit against Ireland, but most of it would be as a result of political agendas and decisions, and I’d certainly dispute the assertion that Ireland lacks national identity.

  2. Absolutely agree with pretty far west’s comment – it is just plain daft to sugges that Ireland lacks a sense of tradition!

  3. I suppose its an effect of the consumerism that gripped us over the last 15 years. The Shopping centres, chain stores and so on.
    That was in the main only i urban areas, although most big towns seem to have shopping parks with a Woodies and some other shops in them.
    You dont have to go too far off the beaten track though to find tradition and ‘an authentic Emerald Isle’ on the East coast either. Theres plenty in rural areas of Wicklow , Wexford and Louth that haven’t changed too much.

  4. There’s quite a lot of traditional Ireland in our neck of the woods….undertakers that are also pubs, petrol pumps outside the local shops, all the time in the world and everyone knowing everything about everyone…not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

  5. Pingback: Happy Birthday to the blog! « Magnumlady’s Blog

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