French fail to notice Irish independence

by Chris Bertram on June 29, 2005

From Slugger O’Toole comes the news that “corporate France appears to be unaware that Ireland is an independent nation”: , and has been since 1922. Regular readers of CT will, of course, be aware that Ireland is indeed separate from Britain, although Irish people who achieve sporting excellence become “British” even faster than “Zola Budd”: .



nick 06.29.05 at 6:25 am

although Irish people who achieve sporting excellence become “British”

Although they won’t get selected by Clive Woodward.

Btw, are CT’s hibernians likely to turn their attention to Tommy Airmiles’ latest on the Celtic Tiger, which curiously neglects to mention the large role played by EU development aid in the 90s, perhaps because it doesn’t fit his Procrustean bed of globollocks?


john b 06.29.05 at 6:35 am

Irish people who achieve sporting excellence become ‘British’

I’m sure you’re right here, but I’m having trouble thinking of examples. I guess the World Cup 1994 football team are a possible, but they weren’t really very excellent, and were made up mostly of British players of Irish ancestry…


John 06.29.05 at 6:51 am

Right rick!

SCW only selects Irish plonkers like Byrne.

As to the French, as every skuleboy noe, they haven’t recognised any change in international affairs since Louis XIV


Rob 06.29.05 at 7:09 am

Does anyone really pay attention to hurling anyway?


rea 06.29.05 at 7:25 am

Rather reminds me of when, as a teenager, my family moved from New Mexico to Oklahoma–and one of my new teachers asked me in front of the class how I liked it here in the United States . . .


Maria 06.29.05 at 7:41 am

I had a look at Friedman’s piece this morning. There’s plenty I don’t like about it, but he does explicitly state that our success is partly down to EU structural funding:”By the mid-1980’s, though, Ireland had reaped the initial benefits of E.U. membership – subsidies to build better infrastructure and a big market to sell into.”

One large piece of the puzzle he leaves out in his Small Countries’ Guide to Global Domination (apart from the rather difficult to replicate ‘be English speaking, and conveniently located to a large and well-developed market’) is how worryingly exposed we are in terms of our total dependence on FDI.

To the main topic of this thread; in my 3 years living in Paris, by far the most typical response I had when I told people I was Irish went along the lines of ‘oh, how wonderful, les irlandais sauvages, of course the English don’t understand or appreciate your Celtic souls at all, but we do. We do.’ Rather than being lumped in as part of the UK, the French people I met were always at pains to stress their empathy for our suffering…


Kevin Donoghue 06.29.05 at 8:02 am

I seem to recall having the same problem as Seamus Martin when using the site.

BTW, Maria, it might not occur to Friedman that Ireland is particularly dependent on foreign capital. America has a somewhat larger problem in that regard.


P ONeill 06.29.05 at 8:41 am

It’s an embarrassing column for SNCF. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too harsh and note that the perception that the Republic still uses pounds may only date from 1979 rather than 1922. Although, and this gets into another issue entirely, Martin is not helping enlighten les francais with his imprecise use of the term “Ireland” when he should be saying “Republic of Ireland.”

One other thing — our credentials as an independent nation would also be helped if our soi-disant republicans in power weren’t so obsequious towards the former power. There’s Bertie Ahern’s continual references to “Sir” Alex Ferguson, the trips that half the Cabinet take to “Royal” Ascot and their overall retail strategy for the country in which their developer friends fill ugly shopping centres with branches of British stores.


otto 06.29.05 at 8:45 am

Corporate France? This is SNCF. In the absence of evidence that or the sellers of Beaujolais Nouveau do the same, I’d put it down to characteristic cluelessness of the state-owned enterprise.

Airmiles: “Last year, Ireland got more foreign direct investment from America than from China.” I think that last “from” should be dropped.

Good universities? Well, Dell seems to think so. But IIRC they suffer from all the lack of, and misallocation of, resources and dynamism of all European universities, not least because they are state enterprises (like SNCF). If you have the choice, try Princeton.


Doug 06.29.05 at 8:59 am

Does anyone really pay attention to hurling anyway?

That’s the funny sport with the brooms and the ice, right? Y’all are better than the Canadians?


Mrs Tilton 06.29.05 at 9:12 am

I do hope you are joking, Doug.


Please 06.29.05 at 9:24 am

Please stop picking on France. I live in Canada and try telling some people in the US that Canada exists. In fact, Europeans always think that we Canadians and the US are one country.

So, two instances of forgetting where Ireland is, doesn’t not an entire country of ignoramuses make.

Get over it!


maurinsky 06.29.05 at 9:38 am

Richard Harris used to say that when he was in the news for something bad, like drunkeness, he was called an Irish actor, and when he was in the news for something good, like being nominated for an award, he was called a British actor.

And for you, Doug: hurling


John Isbell 06.29.05 at 11:00 am

Ah, Zola Budd. My favorite memory of her is Mary Decker in tears after spiking her in the foot.


yabonn 06.29.05 at 11:40 am

I think maria is right : your average clueless french may call “british” all these english-speaking people living in the islands up there, but still know enough not to lump all these people together. As simple as looking who’s cheering when france beats england at rugby.

I just have to remember not (not!) to do the celtic soul thing next Irish i meet.

Not before a few pints, anyways.


paul 06.29.05 at 12:02 pm

FDI in Ireland decreased by 50% last year, the same year in which FDI outflows from the US reached an all-time high (Irish Times, subscription required : ).
Despite this, the Irish economy still hummed along merrily, probably helped by a property/construction boom, something we have in common with much of the Anglo-Saxon world.


goatchowder 06.29.05 at 12:30 pm

Coulda been worse. They could have been Canadian and confused for Americans; they *hate* that.

Or, even worse than that, they could have been Texans and confused for Americans; that *really* pisses ’em off.


Doug 06.29.05 at 1:14 pm

Mrs T, it is well known on the web that Americans (yep, all 300m of them) are incapable of taking the piss without the appropriate receptacle.

maurinsky, thank you, I was worried for a moment that the sport was related to imbibing too much tequila. Wiki set me straight.


Andrew Boucher 06.29.05 at 3:20 pm

I hate to spoil all the theorizing with a fact, but I’m just in the process of ordering a train ticket to the Alps. The last question from the SNCF is, “Quel est le pays de reception ou de retrait des billets?” In the pop-up menu, Irlande is listed.


Uncle Kvetch 06.29.05 at 3:39 pm

FWIW, I ordered a ticket online from the SNCF a couple of months ago. The list of choices after the question Andrew refers to–Quel est le pays de reception ou de retrait des billets?–does not include the United States. They want Americans to go through some third-party web service, “RailEurope” or some such, which just happens to charge much higher prices.

(In case you’re wondering, you can, in fact, order tickets on the SNCF website from the US, and retrieve them in France, as long as you have the credit card you used to place the order.)


rea 06.29.05 at 4:32 pm

“‘Does anyone really pay attention to hurling anyway?’

“That’s the funny sport with the brooms and the ice, right?”

You’re thinking of curling, doug. Hurling is what the Irish do after drinking . . .


euan 06.30.05 at 7:01 am

Anyone for International Rules?

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