Coming Home to Mother… Ireland [my first ever article…1990]

I recently went fishing for some old photos.  I was specifically looking for pics from my school days, as myself and fellow classmates of primary (junior) school intend to unite sometime quite soon.  Given that most of my belongings are in storage still and the fact that my family are also somewhat ‘scattered ‘, there aren’t that many places I can look, for now at least.  Unbeknownst to me, my Dad had kept some cuttings and photos from across the ages too and in the course of my search, I uncovered some old scrapbooks and memorabilia.  Amongst everything, I found this – the first article I ever wrote , which I’m posting today, as I found it quite interesting to make the comparison to how things were back then in 1990 and beyond…  I was still in college at the time and it began as an assignment.  I didn’t pursue a career in writing at that point because the world was waiting for me to discover it.  Seeing this now, a part of me wishes I had carried on my writing back then.  These days with internet and through blogging alone, I could have done both and am certain I would have.  I would certainly have made my English teacher proud, as she always believed out of all her students over the years, that I was to be a writer.  This is for you Sr. Loreto…

Coming Home To Mother… Ireland

by Amanda J. Fitzpatrick

 Just by looking at the news today, both irish and english versions, we can see the difference between past and modern day Ireland. No longer are we labelled a backward race nor are we ridiculed for our traditional mannerisms.

We top charts in everything from sport to music, to drama. With names like Stephen Roche, Denis Taylor, U2, Thin Lizzy, Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, Cyril Cusak – the list is endless.

No longer is our diction imitated or accused of being against grammatical ruling. We are becoming more and more acclaimed for our high standards of education. Whereas before only a limited few completed their Intermediate and then even fewer their Leaving Certificates and with always a selected few completeing third level education, now it is practically standard that our youth are attending colleges and course to further their education and better their careers.

The most flagrant example of the advancement of our nation, would have to be the thousands of young Irish returning home to work. From London, largely, but also other countries, to work in their own country. Not only is this due to taxes and higher living costs, but also due to the success rate in Ireland in comparison to that of most everywhere else in the world.

We take pride in our home coming and stand against ridicule as a team. Ireland vs The World. We’ve taken on the world in a fight to regain our dignity as an independent country – a battle once considered an impossibility – but is now acclaimed as an achievement.

The youth returning home is an entry in our heritage history book. Never before have such a vast amount retreated to their own shores at any one time and this we believe will show in our 1991 Census. The 1841 Census figures showed more than 8 million. Fifty years later, they showed we had lost over half of our nation, partly due to the Great Famine from 1846. Almost 150 years later in 1986 and we hold a population of only 3/4 (three quarters) million more.

We are not coming back one by one or even two by two, but in our hundreds – each seeking fresh life in their own homes and reveling in the slightest change of a new and better future, which good old Mother Ireland now has to offer.”

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