Take a moment to think of some of the major players in Northern Ireland’s politics over the last four decades; Ian Paisley, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness. Even the now infamous Mrs Robinson if you will.
Now consider the following quote by poet Louis MacNeice: “The hard, cold fire of the northerner.”
Surely a genius description of a fiery passion and lust for life that makes Northern Irish people one of the friendliest and genuinely warm on the earth. A down-to-earth, ‘why not just say it like it is and have the craic while you’re at it’ attitude that also delivered the recent bemusing spectacle of the Paisley and McGuinness ‘Chuckle brothers’ show.
But a people also capable of a ruthless detachment – perhaps created by neccessity – creating some of the most heartbreaking atrocities in the western world in recent history.