Although I've not spent much time there, I've always liked the idea of the Tavern - an Irish, or perhaps more accurately Galway, boozer - being in the same building as the Tooting Islamic Centre. This speaks to me of a relaxed live and let live attitude that seems to be in peril from all the humourless grievance mongers in the modern world.
Also, as a proponent of aspirational, non-exclusive ethnic groups I was very pleased to see a good proportion of black Irish, Mediterranean Irish, Asian Irish and even Oriental Irish among the clientele, united at least in appreciation of the craic.
I'm not concerned with mundane and quotidian reality. My Irishness is the Irishness of blarney, or The Quiet Man, or of a story Budd Schulberg tells about the 1941 Billy Conn, Joe Louis fight.
Conn was leading and had only three more rounds to go and his corner was telling him to stick and move, stick and move, you can't lose if you stick and move. And Billy's saying, "Nah, I'm going to knock him out." And he came out in the 13th and started to mix it with Louis and down he went. And in his corner - it's a classic - the manager's saying, "Goddammit, Billy, didn't we tell you to stick and move?" And Billy, lying there on the ground, says, "What's the use of being Irish if you can't be stupid?"
All of which brings me in a meandering Irish way to the problem of your man Flatley. That'll be himself , the Lord of the Dance, the Celtic Tiger to be sure. George Clooney excepted, is there another cat on the the planet who thinks he has got more cream?
He is an oik and a cad and i diskard him from the Ireland I choose to imagine.
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