The romantic Irish: Go on, say it

For a nation so comfortable with invention, for a people so at ease gilding the lily, our national folklore is not overcrowded with red-rose, passionate romantics.

 For every William Butler Yeats, who spent his life carrying the wearying burden of his unrequited love for Maud Gonne, we have Flying Columns of strapping young men far more interested in the National Question or hurling — or in some hopeless cases, greyhounds — than they were in affairs of the heart.

Though he was a gallant Frenchman, Cyrano de Bergerac would, under our rules of engagement, have had to play second fiddle to one of the more one-dimensional, more austere, duller heroes history offers us. 

Equally, it seems difficult to find much in common between, say, Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett and Peig. Circumstances are of course relevant but it is hard to imagine that Casanova could have been Irish — despite the irony that there are many Irish Casanovas, who are entirely different animals.

These are of course irrelevant theories today, the once-a-year day when practical romance must prevail.

Go on, say it.

Related Articles

Same sex marriage campaigners deliver Valentine's Day cards to Stormont

More in this Section

Readers Blog: Restrictions of Educate Together enrolments

Teaching religion in schools - A small step towards our new reality

Ocean pollution getting worse - Urgent need to cut plastic usage

Ticket touting legislation  - Core value ban?


Join the conversation - comment here

House rules for comments - FAQ


Today's Stories

Bessborough mother and baby home: Delay in seeking details of burials

Department of Justice ‘critically conflicted’ over relationship with An Garda Síochána

TD’s office vandalised as signs removed

Figures show that Leo’s health kick is inspiring TDs to get in shape


The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner