Growing up in Ireland wasn’t too bad, but having the sword of damocles that was having to pass Irish to get into University was some thing that filled me with dread (and still does). I personally think that the government places too much emphasis on Irish and not enough on other languages that they might actually use, especially now that Ireland has moved back into the exporting it’s talent overseas.
One thing that I thankfully dodged by downgrading to pass Irish for the leaving was Peig, her shadow loomed over our lives. Kevin Myers column recently captured the sentiment in a way I never could:
Several generations of poor blameless citizens had their childhoods ruined by the imposition of the demented reminiscences of Peig Sayers, a pipe-smoking old mad woman from the Blaskets.
This female Fred West, not content with having her own life filled with misery, was determined to spread it as far as she possibly could. In this ambition she was assisted by a lunatic from England named Robin Flowers and several Scandinavians with straws in their hair and a berserker look in their eyes, who between them turned her geriatric babblings into an educational purgatory for hundreds of thousands of children.