RTÉ'S Greatest Irish Person

Stuff not related to religion or atheism.

Who do you consider to be the greatest Irish person (you can change your mind)

Bono
0
No votes
Michael Collins
5
25%
John Hume
3
15%
Mary Robinson
3
15%
James Connolly
2
10%
Other (someone you believe should be included, please state)
7
35%
 
Total votes: 20
bipedalhumanoid
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Re: RTÉ'S Greatest Irish Person

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:14 pm

munsterdevil wrote:
Dev wrote:Also we have to be specific about who is Irish and who isn't. Is Daniel Day Lewis Irish not in the classic sense, he has Irish citizenship so for the purposes of the poll he is NOT irish, is John F. Kennedy Irish NO, is Bernardo O'Higgins Irish NO, is Ian Paisley Irish? YES
There certaintly seems to be quite a lot of ambiguity surrounding the term 'Irish'.

People with Irish ethnicity who have never even visited the country claim to be Irish. I can't say I've ever been accused of being English on the grounds of the nationality of my ancestors.

It also seems that even some of the most liberal minded Irish people I know have no problem with claiming that Irish citizens, who were not born here, are not Irish. In Australia that would be considered a xenophobic attitude. My experience may not be representative, but it seems to me that if you have Australian citizenship you're Australian, if you have US citizenship you're American, but if you have Irish citizenship you're not necessarily Irish.

So what does it mean to be Irish?

Describing the following people, which of them are Irish?

A child of Irish parents, born in Ireland but moved to Nigeria at 3 months of age where he spent the rest of his life.
A child of Nigerian parents, born in Ireland but moved to Nigeria at 3 months of age where he spent the rest of his life.
A child of Nigerian parents, born in Ireland and remained.
A child of Irish parents, born in Nigeria, moved to Ireland at 3 months of age where he spent the rest of his life and never gained Irish citizenship
A child of Irish parents, born in Nigeria, moved to Ireland at 3 months of age where he spent the rest of his life and gained Irish citizenship
A Nigerian born man who moved here at age 25 and gained Irish citizenship at age 30.
An Irish born man who moved to nigeria at age 25, renounced his Irish citizenship and gained Nigerian citizenship

And what if the achievement is in someway reliant on the location in which it was achieved?
An Irish born scientists who moved to the USA at age 10. Educated in the US education system, his scientific research funded by the US government. Is his invention an Irish achievement?
Or an American born scientists who moved to Ireland at age 10. Educated in Ireland, his research funded by the Irish gov. Is his invention an Irish achievement?
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Ygern
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Re: RTÉ'S Greatest Irish Person

Post by Ygern » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:57 pm

Yeah, quite agree.

If you hold an Irish passport or Irish citizenship, you are Irish. Never mind the skin colour or the accent.
So Daniel Day Lewis is Irish, J.F. Kennedy is not.

The American habit of claiming Irish ethnicity is about cultural identity, and as such isn't really about being Irish in any meaningful sense. Most Americans identify themselves as Greek or German or Irish or whatever. It doesn't mean they are trying to pass themselves off as an Irish person.
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munsterdevil
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Re: RTÉ'S Greatest Irish Person

Post by munsterdevil » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:58 pm

It was just my brief personal opinion on what constitutes an Irish person, I know biped that you didn't accuse me of being xenophobic, but I must state that I'm not. This thread was set up to discuss the RTE series of the greatest irish person and indeed members of AI's opinion on who it is. So even though I'm not a mod, can we please stay on topic without having a massive debate on what is and is not an Irish person.
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Bik
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Re: RTÉ'S Greatest Irish Person

Post by Bik » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:58 pm

My personal view is that if someone is entitled to Irish citizenship then they've the right to be called Irish.

From the list above, Bernardo O'Higgins was the son of an Irish born father, therefore would be entitled to Irish citizenship.
I think JFK was a few generations removed (open to correction here) and therefore wouldn't.
Ian Paisley is obviously Irish born, regardless of his politics, most definitely is Irish.
I believe Daniel Day Lewis holds an Irish passport (through his Irish born father) and is therefore an Irish citizen and is entitled to class himself as Irish.
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bipedalhumanoid
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Re: RTÉ'S Greatest Irish Person

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:45 pm

munsterdevil wrote:It was just my brief personal opinion on what constitutes an Irish person, I know biped that you didn't accuse me of being xenophobic, but I must state that I'm not.
Nor did I intend to imply you were xenophobic. My only point was that different cultures have different attitudes towards this issue.

The remainder of my post was intended to point out how complicated things can get if you don't simply accept Irish citizens as 'Irish'.

Sorry if it got a bit off topic. I know this thread is intended as a bit of fun. I may be taking things too seriously :lol:
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
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