The Irish Times published a piece during the week entitled ‘Why I’m Glad I Can’t Afford To Live In Dublin‘. This article has somewhat split the country with half of people claiming it to be an awful display of journalism, while the other half finding it to be an accurate depiction of Dublin as a whole.
I don’t think it is the best piece of writing ever published. His tone comes across like he is speaking of an ex-lover, every sentence oozing disdain for Dublin like it has betrayed him throughout the years. But that being said, I can definitely see where he is coming from with what he is saying – albeit if he didn’t say it in the best way.
I am coming up to my second year living in Dublin with no great plans to move in the near future. I find the city one of the most culturally diverse in Ireland, the nightlife is good, there is plenty to do and my favourite part is that is lies on the coast which gives me endless opportunities to go to the beach, explore cliff walks and take in the coastal scenes. As a city it has a lot to offer and there is no denying that. The rent prices are high, but so are the levels of craic as well as the job opportunities so you get what you pay for in that regard.
But, the article touches a subject that I can very much relate to.
When we interact with natives we find them not quite like the rest of us – Irish but with an asterisk.
This sentence could not be more true in my eyes, and definitely among the eyes of others. The ‘culchie’ jokes start to lose their novelty two or three months into your job in ‘The Big Smoke’, the reference of any of the 31 counties in Ireland being referred to as ‘The Country’ be it Galway City they are speaking about or Rural West Cork has never failed to baffle me, and the fact that most Dublin folk could never dream of stepping foot beyond The Pale because ‘Dublin has everything you could ever want’ and living somewhere else would just be absurd just pinches a nerve with me.
I grew up in a bungalow in County Limerick within walking distance to family and friends, a short car journey from nearby towns and only 25 minutes from the heart of Limerick City. This was perfect in my eyes as I had a decent size garden to play in, everyone in the area knew me so my parents rarely worried, any amenities we ever needed were no further away from me then as they are where I live in Dublin now. Yet, people from Dublin shudder at the thought of this as they think I grew up in some Neolithic period without electricity or running water. They have a tone about them when speaking about people ‘from the country’ like they are some kind of different breed, and more often than not the tone is so, so patronizing. I don’t think it has ever occurred to them that maybe they are the ones that are a different breed. It is 31 Counties VS them after all. The endless culchie jokes and references to stab city (especially when you work in Catering Supplies around all types of knives) just get old and lose their novelty pretty quickly.
I am proud of where I am from. I am proud to absolutely love the GAA, that I pronounce sandwiches with a hidden ‘G’ in the middle, that I grew up in a house not attached to any other house and that I have had the open mindedness to have already lived in three different counties. I have lived in city centres and I have lived where I grew up, and I would take where I grew up any day of the week. Why they take offence to my preference of country over Dublin life I will never know.
I will admit the article sounded like it was written by someone who has serious underlying issue with Dublin as a county but I am happy that it has drawn some attention to the superiority complex that people from there seem to have over the rest of the country. I have made some great friends from there and I will continue to live there for the foreseeable future. I genuinely enjoy living there and in my eyes it is my new home, but, as the article says… ‘To live among Dubliners is one thing. But to bring up your own mini Dubs? That is a leap many of us are reluctant to make.’
This is a pretty controversial post that I know will touch a nerve with a lot of people, but this is how I feel after living there and I know many people who feel the same – plus I literally got singled out for being a ‘Culchie’ roughly ten minutes ago in work.. so, y’know!