In Which Our Intrepid Heroine Fails at Ireland, Whilst Loving Every Minute of It

The first thing you have to understand is, I loved Ireland.

The Ring of Kerry looks just like the pictures. See? Oh wait--this is a picture. Okay, you're going to have to trust me on this one.

The Ring of Kerry looks just like the pictures. See? Oh wait–this is a picture. Okay, you’re going to have to trust me on this one.

The next thing you have to understand is how much joy I felt when I realized that my first Burroughs ancestor in the US was–wait for it–

Irish!

I was also astonished, having determined long ago that Burroughs was an English name.

However [and yes, I realize this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke], that Irishman named Burroughs was Baptist.

[An Irish Baptist walks into a bar…]

And whilst we have been unable to go further back than the year he set foot on the docks in Maryland to find out more about him, I have been able to research Baptists in Ireland and discover two things:

An Irishman leaving Ireland in 1787 was 98% sure to be Protestant [mostly Presbyterian], because the Catholics were generally too poor to emigrate at that time.

The first Baptists in Ireland came with Oliver Cromwell, and most left with him and good riddance to them all, if you know much about Irish history.

493px-Oliver_Cromwell_by_Samuel_Cooper

Cromwell is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the British Isles, considered a regicidal dictator by historians such as David Hume, a military dictator by Winston Churchill, but a hero of liberty by Thomas Carlyle and Samuel Rawson Gardiner. In a 2002 BBC poll in Britain, Cromwell was selected as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time. However, his measures against Catholics in Scotland and Ireland have been characterised as genocidal or near-genocidal, and in Ireland his record is harshly criticised. — wikipedia

Having a connection to Oliver Cromwell is not the answer to my prayers, let me assure you.

And if you wonder whether genetics will tell, I will share these unconnected facts about my trip to Ireland, and let you decide for yourself.

View from upstairs at self-catering cottage in Youghal.

View from upstairs at self-catering cottage in Youghal.

After days of searching, the self-catering cottage site I chose to book our stays [imagineireland] turned out to be–not Irish. When I sought help finding the next cottage via the Tourist Information Centre, the very lovely lady there stiffened a bit and said very regretfully that she could not use ‘the google’ on their computer to help me find it, because all I remembered about the cottage was that it was on imagineireland, and unfortunately, that is a British service, not Irish.

 

Conservatory View Beara 2

View from conservatory of cottage on Beara Peninsula.

Ooops.

 

 

 

 

Almost bought this one but didn't want to limit my sweater to seasonal use. I don't find a pic of the one I bought online, though.

Almost bought this one but didn’t want to limit my sweater to seasonal use. I don’t find a pic of the one I bought online, though.

 

 

 

The sweater, shirt and socks I bought in Cork City [pronounced Cark Citty] were from Fat Face.

A British chain.

Ooops.

To add insult to injury, the lady in Adrigole I mentioned my purchase to nodded and said wisely, “Yes, Americans seem to like Fat Face.”

[Which makes me wonder, which is worse, being British or American, when insulting the Irish by not buying their sweaters? And yes, I am kicking myself for not getting that Aran sweater I almost bought, damn it.]

I had a couple of other Ooops, that’s British not Irish moments, as well, but you get the picture without any more self-incrimination, I hope.

Once an invader, always an invader.

Wish I'd found it in this nifty tea tin. [And pretend that this image did not come from an ENGLISH tea site, okay? OKAY.]

Wish I’d found it in this nifty tea tin. [And pretend that this image did not come from an ENGLISH tea site, okay? OKAY.]

However, I did buy and fall in love with Barry’s Tea. To my astonishment and relief, I just discovered that it’s as Irish as the potato! “Barry’s Tea is an Irish tea company founded in 1901 by James J. Barry in Cork City.” And from Cark Citty, no less! Does this redeem me, even a little bit?

I didn’t think so.

 

Here. Have some shamrocks.

 

In Killarney National Park. Now, try to tell me that's not Irish!

In Killarney National Park. Now, try to tell me that’s not Irish!

 

 

 

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5 Comments

Filed under Ireland

5 responses to “In Which Our Intrepid Heroine Fails at Ireland, Whilst Loving Every Minute of It

  1. Is now the time to mention that potatoes come from South America? ;^)

    I hope you have had a great time! The English like Texans–I hope the Irish do, too!

  2. Sounds both wonderful and exhausting. I always “step in it” when I am around folks with long standing grudges or issues they can’t handle. If something is a taboo subject, I somehow swing the conversation right there, whether I know to avoid it or not!
    Sounds like you had an awesome time though, and I am super jealous! 🙂

  3. denise

    On my dad’s side, I’m Scots-Irish–and we’re Presbyterian…though I’m also German-Protestant on that side, too.

    Most of the Irish that came pre-Civil War were Protestant. Historically, the Irish Protestants that came were referred to as Scots-Irish. A lot of them settled in Western NC/East Tennessee mountains. Lots of Presbyterians in that part of the Bible Belt. ETSU has a graduate program concentrated on Appalachian, Scottish and Irish Studies which I’ve borrowed for my WIP.

Hit me with it.

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