Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Talking Shite

Just a heads up, this is not so much of a tongue in cheek humourous post, but something I've been chewing on for a week now and just needs to be said.

Most people have heard of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1849). I'm not sure what was so 'Great 'about it mind you, but it was the catalyst for many Irish to emigrate from the 'ol' sod', and that trend continued until the Celtic Tiger and perhaps it's the reason I've been wandering the four corners of the earth these past twenty years.

What many don't know, including most of the Irish themselves, is how many Irish continued to emigrate after the famine to Argentina. My uncle Paddy gave me a heads up on this trivia before he passed last year, but as with most of my education, it went in one ear out the other - could I have A.D.D?......huh? .... where was I?......ah yes.....I was doing a bit o' websurfin' the other day and came across the following excellent site http://www.irlandeses.org/dresden.htm which details immigration of Irish into Argentina and I'd encourage you read it at your leisure, as it's a bit of an eye opener into Irish to Irish hospitality or more accurately 'Kick 'em when their down'.

The interesting fact is the percentage of County Westmeath people who ended up here - 49% out of a survey of 70,000. Sorry Da, I know, two blog posts in a row (full text of above website on its way via Ian), but heads up to me Ma and the County Mayo contingent you's are next! Warning - Warning - Danger - Danger!

The Argentine government was aggressively encouraging foreigners from all over Europe to come and settle here in the 1880's. To promote this, they used various means including employing foreign agents to actively recruit prospective immigrants. Unfortunately, for a lot of Irish people involved, some of the Irish agents involved (collecting commission of course) promoting Argentina, were talking a lotta' Blarney, as they promised a land of paradise with houses, fertile farmland, cheap tickets etc as the following poor soul who got swindled and never received his tickets illustrates.

James Dooner to Timothy Michael Healy, M.P., 14 September 1889 (Kilbeggan, County Westmeath)
The Undersigned, James Dooner, humbly begs to bring under your kind consideration the following facts, trusting you will take the trouble of having me remunerated for the great loss I have sustained.

Firstly, I am a poor dealer, going round with my donkey and wares. I have a wife and eleven children, when I was induced to apply for tickets for passages, in March last, to bring us out to the Argentine Republic. In consequence of these communications, I disposed of my donkey, my little furniture, and, above all, of a large heap of manure - the greatest loss, as I have now no potatoes. Trusting you will see after us, and God may bless you always, I am your very humble, James Dooner

Many of the folks who did make it Argentina ended up worse off, as there were no free houses, farmland or land of promise waiting and I'm pretty sure poor James Dooner (above) never got his compensation and probably never ended up in Argentina, so for me the 'current day' moral of the story is........Never give anyone shite (especially your personal stock) and steer clear of Ryanair!


Spain Blog February 14, 2008 4:57 pm  


Has nothing to do with your post but I´m at home and don´t have your email.

Thought you might be interested in this article in the Guardian


A bit of research for you to do.

Spain Blog February 14, 2008 4:59 pm  

Seems the full link didn´t appear in my post. Check out the Guardian www.guardian.co.uk today for "10 best bars in BA" article.

Quickroute February 14, 2008 5:10 pm  

My kind o' research! Dirty job but someones gotsta do it! - cheers for that!

Queen Of Clean February 16, 2008 9:39 am  

Hi I just found your blog through Manuel,I like the slant you put on your travels....dog poo?? just like cork!

I hope you don't mind me asking you, but would you ever consider coming 'home'?

No reason other than plain old being nosey!!

Quickroute February 16, 2008 1:41 pm  

Hi Queen of Clean,

I've muddled that question over the years but 3 major obstacles come to mind.

1) Property prices - is the country gone completely mad? At current prices, I couldn't afford a porta-loo, never mind a house!
2) Tax - has always been too high
3) Climate - I like a soft day like the next fella but there's only so much cold, grey and wet I can take!

Did you ever think of leaving yourself?

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