Tag Archives: Ireland

“Do they have traffic lights in Ireland?”

By Deidre Hutchison

“Do they have traf­fic lights in Ire­land?” This was a naive ques­tion posed to my cousin on a vis­it to the Unit­ed States in the 1980s. To my pre-teen intel­lect, this was the kind of insult that demon­strat­ed the height of Amer­i­can igno­rance my friends and I so often scoffed at. There was laugh­ter at such a ludi­crous concept.

The image of Ire­land as back­ward bor­dered on com­i­cal and more often, irri­tat­ing. After all, we were a nation with a deep his­to­ry and a rich cul­ture with lit­er­ary giants like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and W.B. Yeats. Musi­cal­ly, we boast­ed the renowned tal­ent of every­thing from The Dublin­ers and Thin Lizzy to the glob­al phe­nom­e­non of U2. In our minds, we might be a small island, but we were extreme­ly proud and accomplished.

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