An Aspect of Irishness: Infinite Welcomes


Obamas cousin henry hea"Sure we'll be home in June for a week for a wedding. We'll have to pop in for a pint. I'll probably be up in Mullingar at some stage anyway and she's *points at girlfriend* after finding you on Twitter already so we'll let you know".

The above is an imagined** excerpt from a conversation between a person who would rate somewhere between the P and S lists of Irish celebrities and a 75% Irish couple in America.

The Q-list celebrity in question is one Henry Healy, affectionately known to the people of Moneygall and anyone who has heard of him as Henry VIII. He and Obama share a Great-Great-Great Grand Father making them 8th cousins. The couple in question cannot be named for legal *** reasons.

The exchange between the three had nothing to do with being star-struck by a guy who lives in a small town in Offaly and whose only claim to fame is a rotted, heavy branch of his family tree. There was no star to strike here. It was just a group of Irish people, drunk on their nationality, 3,000 miles from home.

Deep down all three people participating in the conversation knew that none of this would come to pass and they were fools for even suggesting such a pathetic meeting that they all knew as they spoke would not happen. This is what it is to be Irish.

We know each other for five minutes and already grope around awkwardly in an attempt to get into bed together. It can be likened to moving into a house in college with perfectly random strangers and before you even get drunk on the first night, you are inviting them down your little village to go to the local night club or pub-cum-community-centre to see how life is conducted down your neck-of-the-woods.

These invites are usually made in haste with reckless abandon, with the best of intentions by a very welcoming people who get caught up in the moment but with absolutely no forethought whatsoever. Were they to take two minutes out to take stock, they would realize how utterly ridiculous the whole situation was and stop it in its tracks.

With every passing day, the invitation (in this case the inviters were also the invitees) seems a little more implausible, and the likelihood of it being acted upon becomes a little less. One thing is for sure: if the couple in question do decide to take a trip to one of the 32 ancestral homes of the current POTUS, no one's life will be changed because of it. The people of Moneygall won't be any richer for the experience, save for possibly Ollie Hayes who will most likely pocket the ten-odd euro for a couple of pints, a bag of Tayto and a song on the jukebox. If there is a jukebox.

As a footnote I would like to take a moment to explore the oxymoronic nature of the Irish people. Since Henry Healy became known to the people of Ireland, many have claimed that he would "be a great politician. It's in the family". I find this funny because Irish people spend more time bitching about political dynasties than they do considering where their vote goes.

Update: Over a year and two visits home later and the couple in question still haven't so much as driven through Moneygall on their way somewhere else.

** real/actual
*** embarrassment