ESSAY: The elements that today might form a national culture – language, religion, nationalism – are no longer so readily identifiable here, where the effect of Tiger affluence was not individualism but conformism
Read Declan Kiberd's full article on the Irish Times website.
I posted a comment in response, which I will also post here:
As the author of what could be described as an Irish cultural book - 'Island of the Setting Sun - In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers' - I find myself agreeing with much of what Declan has to say. My book is what you might call romantic, poetic, mythical. I evoke a very ancient Ireland, and I feel that I got in touch with our most ancient ancestors. The eight years of research carried out with artist Richard Moore took me on a voyage of discovery, and I found myself re-unearthing many things which had been hidden, things which had eluded me during my formative years and during the course of my education. I feel that this very ancient Ireland is still alive. It is still there. The myths still resonate, the heroes and gods of old usher in feelings of a timeless Irishness. There is no doubt that people sold out, and were sold out, during the so-called Celtic Tiger era. Many have emerged on the other side of this manic period feeling that the Tiger's premises are empty, its promises unfulfilled. But there is still a foundation for the Irish soul, an ancient and almost eternal foundation. We need not sell every last vestige of the soul in order to acquire that scenic house with the barbecue in the back yard. It is my firm belief that there will be a huge resurgence of interest in ancient Ireland and its mythology, landscape and monuments. All of that gives us a sense of being rooted, of being eternal. The Celtic Tiger is dead. Long live the Celtic Tiger.