Posts and podcasts

The two Irelands – 1903

Kinvara Harbour c1950 Cresswell archives

Kinvara Harbour c1950
Cresswell archives

Oamaru Mail, Volume XXVIII, Issue 8273, 31 August 1903, Page 4
THE TWO IRELANDS

(By Filson Young, in the London Daily Mail.)

Donegal, August 17. (abridged)

There are two Irelands, one of smiling, one of miserable, aspect. The first is known to the many, the second to the few; the first greets the tourist at every turn, the second is discovered only by those who leave the beaten tracks, and, travelling far from the railways and even from the roads, come face to face with the naked life of mountain, bog, and shore. And the first is exploited and displayed, while the second is hidden.

There are some very simple facts about Ireland which at this moment cannot be too widely known. Before facing the dark side, let us dispose of the first, the prosperous Ireland, which, standing as it does in the foreground of the picture, obscures the view and interrupts the attention of those who think they have seen the country.

To say that it is a strip of Ireland’s eastern seaboard that is prosperous, is only one, and an imperfect way of stating the case. It would be nearer the mark to say that what we take for prosperity in Ireland is but the stir and bustle of market-places that exist only by virtue of their proximity to Europe. In the eastern seaports we find this stir and bustle. In the western, never.

Beyond earshot of bustling centres of artificial trade you are enfolded by the stillness and emptiness of rural Ireland. The green fields sleep in the sun. Empty cabins proclaim from their boarded-up windows – a thousand tragedies of failure and departure. It is a silent and vacant country.

Into the stately waterways of Cork, of Galway, of Limerick, the sea twice a day comes brimming up, filling with its inexhaustible flood the spaces between the imposing empty warehouses. The beautiful buildings, raised when Ireland had a population and a trade, are crumbling and deserted great chambers. These western ports, so nobly furnished by nature, and by man, so entirely unvisited, save by the punctual tides, are imposing monuments of a decay that is vast and complete.

Never a tide rises but it carries away with it something priceless, vital, irreplaceable — the life of the country. And even away from the great ruinous ports along a coast unmatched in the world for its bays and inlets and roadsteads, you may note the blight of desolation and mark the sea’s revenges.

Advertisements

About The Burren and Beyond

Archaeologist

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Calendar

May 2014
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Categories

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 244 other followers

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 24,802 hits

Posts

May 2014
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
%d bloggers like this: