Recently there was a lot of talk about how it was disgraceful about how Grafton Street was turning into a non-descript high street with zero characteristics of Ireland. That it was terrible that shops with wonderfully Irish names with O’s in front of them selling all sorts of traditional Irish stuff were being replaced by such bland entities like Foot Locker, Boots and McDonalds. It was seen as an abandonment of Irishness as these shops have nothing to do with being Irish.
But what is Irishness. To me Irishness is everything and nothing. It is not a commodity that can be bought or sold or indeed reproduced. It is not Aran sweaters it is not pony and traps and indeed it is not even the great Martin Hayes. If it was merely those things then it would be a commodity something we can sell nothing else. Something that could be reproduced anywhere in the world on an assembly line. And indeed we do sell these things we sell Aran Sweaters to the yanks who send post cards with Rush Hour Ireland on them back stateside. This just like La Rambles in
The reason that all these Boots etc move into
In some ways trying to maintain