The ‘Irish Type’ – Mercurial (United Irishman, 1904)

1.518. The United Irishman: A National Weekly Review, No.276, Vol.11, (Dublin), 11 June, 1904, 3.

Extracts from Domnall O Maoilmicil, ‘The Work of the Gaelic League’, on the ‘Irish type’.

In this passage from his essay ‘The Work of the Gaelic League’, Domnall O Maoilmicil discusses the idea of that the union of Ireland with England might eventually spell the disappearance of the Irish, before passing on to a description of the ‘Irish type’.

. . . And when, three hundred years hence, the origins of this neo-British civilisation are being critically investigated, it will take a very acute historian, indeed, to detect the soupcon of Irishism as a constituent flavour in the Imperial olla podrida. But, perhaps, someone will say that there is no Irish outlook apart from an English outlook. These things are better felt than reasoned upon. . . . Most of us are conscious in the depths of our hearts that there is such a thing as the Irish type, the Irish outlook, the Irish genius, whether it express itself in thought or deed, accent, gait, cranium, or anything else you will; whether it is that the Irishman is more sociable, mercurial, gay, melancholy, intelligent, untidy than the Englishman, or whatever be the distinction made, most of us know that there is a distinct Irish type. With the man who says there is not we will not argue. That man has forfeited his right to vote in the election of the destiny of the Irish people; the iron has entered his soul; he is already an Englishman.

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