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Sammy Wilson

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Irish is a leprechaun language.
The Irish News (November 3, 1987)

Sammy Wilson

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There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting.

John Millington Synge

Well, here we are, the Irish in America. The Irish have been coming to America for years, going back to the great famine when the Irish were on the run from starvation and a British Government that couldn't care less. Right up to today, you know, there are more Irish immigrants here in America today than ever some illegal, some legal. A lot of them are just running from high unemployment, some run from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, from the hatred of the H Blocks, torture. Others from wild acts of terrorism like we had today in a town called Enniskillen, where eleven people lie dead, and many more injured, on a Sunday Bloody Sunday.


[Julian Gough's] notion that shouting the word 'feck' Father Ted has a lot to answer for and being grossly scatological will make him seem echt Irish only harms his argument. We who were born and continue to live in Ireland are always distressed by the stage-Irish antics so often to be encountered among the sons and daughters of the diaspora. But it is true, as the critic Declan Kiberd remarks, that no contemporary Irish writer has yet attempted the Great Irish Novel on social and political themes. Where is our Middlemarch, our Doctor Zhivago, our Rabbit trilogy? The fact is Irish fiction tends to be poetic rather than prosaic, which is something that non-Irish reviewers find hard to grasp. John McGahern used to say that there is verse and there is prose, and then there is poetry, and poetry can occur in either form, and that in Ireland it occurs more often in prose than in verse. There may be a grittily realistic novelist even now writing a masterpiece such as Mr Gough says he longs for, and, if so, I applaud her/him.

John Banville

After September 11th I had tons of interviews everywhere, except the United States of course, and often it was national radio and TV. A couple of times it turned out to be Irish television and BBC back to back, and the difference in reaction was startling. If I said this much on Irish TV, OK, discussion over, everyone understands what I'm talking about. You try to say it on BBC, you have to go on for like about an hour to explain to them what you mean. The Irish sea is a chasm, and it just depends who's been holding the whip for 800 years and who's been under it for 800 years.

Noam Chomsky

The bad boy tweaking the nose of the Establishment [with] the countenance of a Jewish leprechaun.

Art Buchwald
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