Hundreds of people share what Ireland means to them in this wonderful collaborative poem 3 years ago

Hundreds of people share what Ireland means to them in this wonderful collaborative poem

What does Ireland mean to you?

There are certain traditions in Ireland that transcend generations, defy meaning and would make no sense to anyone outside the isle. But we love them and when presented with the opportunity to revel in them en mass, we usually jump at the chance.

Oh My God What A Complete Aisling is a Facebook group united in its shared love of all things stereotypically Irish. The groups very existence was formed around the fictional-but-very-close-to-life character of Aisling. We all know one, we all have a little bit of Aisling in us.

The group usually shares stories of Aislingisms, distintly only-in-Ireland stories and pictures of the Notionz shop in Nutgrove but today they have come together to share something a little extra special.

A poem.

Yes a huge portion of the 26,000 members have come together to pen an ode to the Island all in a commendable effort to raise fund for Focus Ireland.

It started on December 5th, when Aidan Strangeman put up a message asking the members of popular Irish Facebook forum asking members to contribute lines to a poem called "Ireland Is..." Out of hundreds of suggestions, he collated the most popular lines and posted the poem on the forum.

The result proved to be popular and it was suggested that we should make a video with various members saying selected lines for charitable cause, and given the references to the house and home, Focus Ireland was the obvious choice.

Bob Murphy offered his skills as a video editor, and he and Aidan went about the task of gathering video contributions.

The result is wonderful altogether and we at Her thought it was gas.

Video published with permission from Bob.

The poem in full reads:


"Léigh anois go cúramach ar do scrúdpháipéar

na treoracha agus na ceisteanna a ghabhann le cuid A,
Ireland is fluent in Irish, 
as long it's just two people asking to go to the loo. 
Ireland is a Mammy shouting,
"Close the door, you'll leave the heat out," 
 every time you walk in or out of a room.

Ireland is a Daddy who can't say how much he misses you.

Where it rains in the front garden, 
and it's a rainbow out the back.
Beautiful, but terrible at handling her cash.
Ireland is a press, full of plastic bags.
Ireland is a family, walking in for a chat,

when you're sleeping next to your shocked foreign spouse

and you're not really sure if you're going out or "out out"?
It's a seven letter word but no use in Scrabble, 
(as it's a proper noun.)
It's an anagram of "dire anal"
(if you add in an "A", and wash out your filthy mouth!)

It's bacon, it's cabbage, it's acting the maggot,
the official home of rainbow marriage...

...and also the home of chicken fillet rolls
Where warms hearts send blood to numb toes
while we listen to the death notices on our radios,
and give single finger waves on country roads.
Where a hug means you're safe now, you're home,
or "home home."

It's a woman whose body and choices are not her own

It's a fictional priest with a quote for every occasion
Where atheists baptise children, so they can get an education
Ireland is midnight mass at 9 o' clock
It's opening a Roses' tin to find it's a sewing box

Where "craic" is good and "bold" is bad.
A place you're allowed slag off if you're Irish,
but woe betide anyone else who slags.

It's thousands of people on a Facebook forum
taking the piss out of themselves
Where the wit is dry but the weather is wet
Ireland is agreeing, except on the "in" breath...
y'know, like yeah, yeah, yeah, *yeahyeahyeahyeah*

yeah, yeah, yeah, *yeahyeahyeahyeah*

Ireland is moist.

It's a land where rain defies the laws of physics.
Where loving yourself is seen as being too big for your boots, 
contributing to crippling mental illness.
a soggy little rock, onto which our dreams cling like limpets.

Where every child of any faith is welcome to come along and be Catholic.
Where "Pennys" is an acceptable response to a compliment on your outfit.

Ireland is a Tayto sandwich.

Ireland puts clothes on the line in November,
because using the tumble dryer would be fierce extravagance altogether!

It's a damp-eyed tune with a wooden spoon,
and worrying about that person you gave directions to.

Where "few naggins?" is the answer to all problems.
Ireland is home, even for yer wan who is "forrin."

A mam waking ya up saying it's 8am

when it's only 7.15
A Mammy offering you a sandwich 
even though she's not your Mammy.

Ireland is my home, my heart and my blood.
and Mammy not answering the phone to about 10 calls 
then having a conniption when you miss one!

Ireland is not using the good room

GAA in September, no drinks in November
Where a potato in a suit is a national treasure

It's the squint on a loch against the cold autumn sun 
and the fog of glorious stories condensing on the pub's 
window pane
it's easy to leave, but impossible to escape
Ireland is thanking the bus driver for getting us there, safe. 
Ireland is where NO UNNECESSARY JOURNEYS should take place!

Ireland is a box of fancy biscuits no one is allowed to eat, just in case

Ireland is like your mother, it drives you mad but you love it.
And thinking that stuff people from literally every country do is uniquely Irish
even though everybody does it.

Ireland is green fields and laughter.
Ireland is politicially a disaster
When your Memmeh says "We're not made of money"
as an answer to almost everything
even though the answer is usually Sudocrem.

Ireland is cutting the garden because the neighbours did theirs.
Your Memmeh saying ''tis far from 
(insert notiony, notion thing here) ye were reared' 
every time you express an idea that's not hers.

Ireland is the tinny sound of Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh 
rattling through the wireless on a Sunday in late September

Ireland is giving directions by describing a pub
Ireland is stuck between Brexit and Trump
And yet, a story so big mere borders cannot contain her 
and she's told around the world by her daughters and her sons

Ireland is a street where people sleep under Christmas Lights.

Ireland is solving the entire world's problems a cup of tae at a time

Ireland is not being able to say goodbye...

Okay, bye now. Bye, bye. Good luck.

Bye bye bye. Bye bye. Bye bye bye.

Bye Bye bye, okay, I'll see you later,

bye bye bye bye bye...