Last week was a busy one! I went to boatyard music festival and then traveled to the west of Ireland to Galway. Getting to see the smaller countryside on a side tour, it is time for me to give my overall views of how the Irish people function, as I am now a definitive expert on all that is Irish. When I came to Ireland I expected a culture shock, but instead found a surprising familiarity with Michigan. Much like Michigan, Ireland is split into the north and the south side of Ireland, the north being much more rural and the south comparatively inhabited. All the Irish are very pleasant and friendly people, and I have yet to receive a rude comment due to my American nationality (something that cannot be said for most countries I visit). Much like Michigan, they have an appreciation for the quiet natural beauty present in their area.
The Irish people are very religious, the Catholic Church being a force as strong (if not stronger) than the government in not-so-far history. I have noticed a resentment against the church among the younger generations for this very reason. My tour guide in Galway was telling us about how the Catholic Church took his estranged brother away from him mother due to him being born out of wedlock, and similar horror stories. As the pope is coming to Ireland this resentment is becoming more apparent as people are being more vocal about their distain in the fact that tax dollars are funding what they have seen as an abusive presence in Ireland.
It is a time of radical change in the country (abortion was just legalized if that gives you an idea) and I am more than happy to be able to be a guest in this country. If anybody from Ireland has been reading my posts, thanks for being a part of what makes your country fantastic. More likely, if you are my mom, dad, or person grading this, thanks for taking the time. I’ll end this series in the same way the Irish end their emails: