Letter which appeared in the Irish Times last Saturday September 24, 2005 [My translations in square brackets].
and the home
“Madam, – NÃl
aon tinteÃ¡n mar do thinteÃ¡n fein. [Irish phrase meaning there’s no place like home, literally, no fireplace like your own fireplace]. Of course,
an tinteÃ¡n is fast receding into fadÃ³ fadÃ³ [long, long ago], but the profound verity that is the
essence of the seanfhocal [Irish phrase] will always be the truth of the human condition. More heart than hearth, it is a
humano-spiritual rather than physical structure, a warm cocoon enveloping the
very chrysalis of human society. To grow
into it and out of it is the natural right of every person.
and indeeed, however well Â– non-parental childcare is funded, an tinteÃ¡n is not
to be found in creche or kindergarten, pre-school or after school, and hardly
in a couple of nightly hours of Â“quality timeÂ”.
perhaps most women, now want to Â“workÂ”, i.e. to go every day to a workplace and
to take part in everything that passes there.
acknowledge readily that most of them work very well is not to forget that a
woman feels scant deference to logic and is wont to express the truth in such
an oblique way that it is scarcely recognisable. Thus, the true statement, Â“I want to go to
workÂ” is instead expressed as Â“I need to go to workÂ”; Â“I canÂ’t afford not to go
to workÂ”; Â“the ends that I think should meet cannot be made to meet unless I go
to workÂ”; Â“I must go to work to provide adequately for my childrenÂ”; or, even,
Â“my children will be better off by being without me for most of their daylight
I feel sure
that an tinteÃ¡n will continue to recede until women of some future generation
become so alive to their own deprivation that they will resolve that their
children must be preserved from tinteÃ¡n-deprivation.
on 26 September 2005 at 13:07
SPUC: an Gaeilge: what everyone else should do about their vile unIrish life and ways; the evils of computers in schools…agus mar sin de…
What I can’t understand is why the Times keeps giving him space.
on 26 September 2005 at 19:55
on 26 September 2005 at 22:06
on 27 September 2005 at 11:16
on 27 September 2005 at 15:48
on 27 September 2005 at 15:53
on 27 September 2005 at 23:10
on 28 September 2005 at 10:38
on 28 September 2005 at 12:33
She rang me at 8.30 the other morning after a
night out. As she rang off I said, in older
sister mode, now go to bed. Â“Oh noÂ” said
she Â“I must book my tickets for TorontoÂ”.
Me: WhatÂ’s happening in Toronto?
Her: You donÂ’t want to know.
Well, IÂ’m going to a David Gray concert.
Me: Why donÂ’t any of these people ever come to Chicago?
Well, actually, he is coming to Chicago.
Her (defensively): Well, I bought the Toronto tickets when I thought I might not
be able to get tickets for Chicago.
now you actually have Chicago tickets.
Her: Well, yes.
Me: But youÂ’re still going to Toronto.
In her defence, she does have a friend who
lives in Toronto, but sheÂ’s still profligate.