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Ireland is a peculiar society in the sense that it
by John McGahern

Ireland is a peculiar society in the sense that it
was a nineteenth century society up to about 1970 and
then it almost bypassed the twentieth century.
- John McGahern

I used to take five or six books away and bring five or six books back.
Nobody gave me direction or advice and I read much
in the way that a boy might watch television.
- John McGahern

I've never written anything that hasn't been in my mind for a long time -
seven or eight years.
- John McGahern

I love the description of Gothic churches before the printed word,
that they were the bibles of the poor.
- John McGahern

 

I think fiction is a very serious thing,
that while it is fiction, it is also a revelation of truth,
or facts.
- John McGahern

I think it's linked to the realisation that we're not
going to live forever and that the way of saying and
the language become more important than the story.
- John McGahern

I feel I grew up in a different century than I live in.
I think most of them are changes for the good.
- John McGahern

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My father was very outwardly religious.
- John McGahern

I read all the time.
I was reading a book I admire very much by Alice McDermot called Charming Billy.
- John McGahern

We absolutely believed in Heaven and Hell,
Purgatory, and even Limbo.
I mean, they were actually closer to us than Australia or Canada,
that they were real places.
- John McGahern

Yes, though I have nothing but gratitude for my upbringing in the church.
- John McGahern

When I was in my 20s it did occur to me that there
was something perverted about an attitude that thought
that killing somebody was a minor offence compared to kissing somebody.
- John McGahern

But that private world, once it's dramatised,
doesn't live again until it finds a reader.
- John McGahern

I think there's a great difference in consciousness
in that same way in that when we're young we read books for the story,
for the excitement of the story - and there comes a
time when you realise that all stories are more or less the same story.
- John McGahern

For example, it's only about 20 years ago the people
in that community would have got telephone lines,
and it would be only about in the 1950s that electricity
came to that part of the world.
Television wouldn't have come till 1970.
- John McGahern

Everything that we inherit, the rain,
the skies, the speech, and anybody who works in the
English language in Ireland knows that there's the
dead ghost of Gaelic in the language we use and listen
to and that those things will reflect our Irish identity.
- John McGahern

When I start to write, words have become physical presence.
It was to see if I could bring that private world to
life that found its first expression through reading.
I really dislike the romantic notion of the artist.
- John McGahern

The rosary was said every evening.
I always liked that sentence about the medieval Churches,
that they were the Bibles of the poor.
The Church was my first book and I would think it is
still my most important book.
- John McGahern

Amongst Women concentrated on the family,
and the new book concentrates on a small community.
The dominant units in Irish society are the family and the locality.
The idea was that the whole world would grow out from that small space.
- John McGahern

I think that each of us inhabits a private world that others cannot see.
The only difference between the writer and the reader
is that the writer is able to dramatise that private world.
- John McGahern

Yes, but also one of the problems for a novelist in
Ireland is the fact that there are no formal manners.
I mean some people have beautiful manners but there's
no kind of agreed form of manners.
- John McGahern

When you're in danger of losing a thing it becomes
precious and when it's around us,
it's in tedious abundance and we take it for granted
as if we're going to live forever,
which we're not.
- John McGahern

The way I see it is that all the ol' guff about being
Irish is a kind of nonsense.
I mean, I couldn't be anything else no matter what I tried to be.
I couldn't be Chinese or Japanese.
- John McGahern

I think technique can be taught but I think the only
way to learn to write is to read,
and I see writing and reading as completely related.
One almost couldn't exist without the other.
- John McGahern

I belong to the middle class that grew up very influenced by the Catholic church.
The people of the novel are from a more pagan and practical
world in which the Christianity is just a veneer.
- John McGahern

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal.
- From a headstone in Ireland

I remember my first show was a live TV show in Ireland,
and I was just petrified.
It was horrific.
- Caroline Corr

I know there's some kind of history to mountain music-like
it came from Ireland or England or Scotland and we kept up the tradition.
- Loretta Lynn

Rain is also very difficult to film,
particularly in Ireland because it's quite fine,
so fine that the Irish don't even acknowledge that it exists.
- Alan Parker

I came to Ireland 20 years ago as a student,
hitch-hiking round for a week and staying in Dublin.
- Greta Scacchi

The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine.
- Seamus Heaney

I've had three novels published, and I was working
a little bit in theater in Ireland.
I wrote one film script just to see what it would turn out like.
- Neil Jordan

In Ireland, it's been like U2 and The Cranberries,
which is rock, but you know they're Irish.
- Caroline Corr

Love is never defeated, and I could add,
the history of Ireland proves it.
- Pope John Paul II

My father's parents were Irish.
Only a year before my father died, he and I went back
to Ireland for a week to look at the old homestead.
- John Hawkes

It is tradition in Ireland that you're given money
for your first communion.
- Roma Downey

There will be no support in the island of Ireland for
building a nuclear power station.
- Peter Hain

Sinn Fein is the fastest growing party on the island of Ireland.
- Martin McGuinness

Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible.
- Charles Haughey

Some mornings you wake up and think,
gee I look handsome today.
Other days I think, what am I doing in the movies?
I wanna go back to Ireland and drive a forklift.
- Liam Neeson

Ireland and England are like two sisters;
I would have them embrace like one brother.
- Boyle Roche

I want to organize so that women see ourselves as people
who are entitled to power,
entitled to leadership.
- Patricia Ireland

I was born in Northern Ireland in 1951.
I lived most of my life there until 1986 or 1987.
- Paul Muldoon

Indeed, American companies make three times as much
profits from their investment in one E.U.
country, Ireland, than they do from all their investments in China.
- John Bruton

There are two traditions in Northern Ireland.
There are two main religious denominations.
But there is only one true moral denomination.
And it wants peace.
- David Trimble

You know, the pessimism which exists now in the Middle
East existed in Northern Ireland,
but we stayed at it.
- George J. Mitchell

The cup of Ireland's misery has been overflowing for
centuries and is not yet half full.
- Boyle Roche

Geographically, Ireland is a medium-sized rural island
that is slowly but steadily being consumed by sheep.
- Dave Barry

Dublin university contains the cream of Ireland:
Rich and thick.
- Samuel Beckett

I have lived in countries that were coming out of conflict:
Ireland,
South Africa, the Czech republic.
People there are overflowing with energy.
- Brian Eno

We shall not fight for the preservation of the enemy,
which has laid waste with death and desolation the
fields and hills of Ireland for 700 years.
- James Larkin

There once was a demographic survey done to determine
if money was connected to happiness and Ireland was
the only place where this did not turn out to be true.
- Fiona Shaw

But I will say that living in Ireland has changed the
cadence and fullness of speech,
since the Irish love words and use as many of them
in a sentence as possible.
- Anne McCaffrey

Stop at home.
Arm for Ireland.
Fight for Ireland and no other land.
- James Larkin

Oh, all kinds of lunacy happens in Ireland,
all kinds of lunacy.
- Anjelica Huston

Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow.
- James Joyce

Ireland has a role to play in making the E.U.
united and strong.
- John Bruton

Well I think it has always been a mistake to reduce
the peace process in Ireland to a decommissioning process.
- Martin McGuinness

We are bound to lose Ireland in consequence of years of cruelty,
stupidity and misgovernment and I would rather lose
her as a friend than as a foe.
- William E. Gladstone

I come from Ireland and I've seen the damage of religious warfare.
I am a believer. I don't wear the badge on the outside
but it is on the inside.
- Bono

Why should Ireland be treated as a geographical fragment of England -
Ireland is not a geographical fragment,
but a nation.
- Charles Stewart Parnell

I believe we've spent many years trying to bring about
talks which have all the Parties in Northern Ireland
involved so that there'd be inclusive talks.
- Dick Spring

Ireland is a great country to die or be married in.
- Elizabeth Bowen

I'd love to live in Ireland but I'd like to live as me,
not what someone thinks I am.
People don't understand - I lived there before I was famous.
- Van Morrison

One American said that the most interesting thing about
Holy Ireland was that its people hate each other in
the name of Jesus Christ.
And they do!
- Bernadette Devlin

Going back to Ireland involves at least six to seven
emotional breakdowns for me per day.
- Anjelica Huston

For over 30 years, the IRA showed that the British
government could not rule Ireland on its own terms.
- Gerry Adams

I would love to write the story of my upbringing in Ireland.
- Fiona Shaw

What Ireland needs now above all else is peace.
- Albert Reynolds

Ireland is also quite nice.
So is Amsterdam.
- Diane von Furstenberg

I do identify with St.
Patrick, not just in name.
He drove the snakes out of Ireland.
I intend to drive the snakes out of the State House.
- Deval Patrick


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