Though Irish culture has a definitive place in our society, one cannot say the same for its place in Irish universities. In a world where we all just want to be clones of one another, all looking the same, all looking perfect, the culture of the country we are from is something which we should value more now than ever. It is the one thing that we can claim to be a part of us, regardless of what anyone else says or does, and serves to define and shape us, more so than we would like to think.
It is with great irony that the Irish culture to which, we as Irish citizens, are all inextricably connected, binds us together as a nation so strongly, yet in equal measure it is the very thing that distinguishes us so powerfully from all other nations. It is, therefore, surprising that so little an effort is made in the educational sphere to celebrate this culture, for what it was, for what it is and for what it has the potential to be.
The culture of any country is undoubtedly the heart and soul of that country. The oxygenated blood is being pumped around all the veins and capillaries of the heart, filling the heart with energy to keep beating, keep pumping. It is flowing through all the small towns and villages, which come to make up a country. It pumps energy and life into those towns and villages, keeping them alive, thus keeping the country through which they are all connected alive.
Culture changes a great deal over time. Irish culture is undergoing a period of significant transformation at present and this may not necessarily be a good thing.
We must, therefore, ask ourselves, what kind of culture it is that we are claiming before even considering why it may not be celebrated in college as much as it should be?
Irish culture is rich and varied. It comprises of traditional Irish music, a very individual style of dancing known as Irish dancing, great and hugely insightful, creative writing, a wonderful landscape from which many of our great writers, most noticeably Yeats, has found great inspiration for his poetry and kind and genuine people whose creativity and resilience is authentically Irish.
This culture has changed. Now it is being threatened by drugs and drug addicts on the streets of Dublin, the very place where Irish culture can be celebrated most. We have all heard recently of the tragic story of the Dublin footballer who recently fell victim to a brutal and unprovoked attack in Dublin, which ironically acts as a crude metaphor of Irish culture clashing with new undesired forces. This is only one in a string of many attacks recently on innocent civilians on the streets of Dublin. Anti-social behaviour is now fast becoming part and parcel of life in Dublin. As a result, it is gradually beginning to filter its way in to the very fabric of Irish culture. This is causing the wonderful culture we once had to be damaged, perhaps irreplaceably, so that Irish culture is descending into a shambles almost.
Subsequently, this new aspect of Irish culture is taking away from the good things about it. The service that incredible writers such as Heaney and Yeats have given to this country is outstanding. These people who are involved in these brutal attacks are showing blatant disregard for the contribution of such celebrated writers to Irish culture and are taking away from it.
Irish culture has a definitive place in society but it is entirely up to you as to whether or not it now deserves to have one in your college. Perhaps, if we were to go back to past Irish traditions that define Ireland so strongly, and make a greater effort to celebrate them in a more modern way, it would be celebrated more on campus.