Do you have to have been born in Ireland to be Irish?

Well there's a question that bedeviled me during my youth.

I never felt as if I could join in the more "Irish" events at school, oh, you know, the singing and the dancing, because, as I would hear repeatedly through secondary school; "You're not really Irish."

Being Irish, in Drogheda in the early 1980s meant being born there.

It didn't matter that my mother was born and raised in Drogheda before leaving to train as a nurse in Ireland.

It didn't matter that everyone on my mother's side of the family is "Irish, Irish."

It also didn't matter that my dad's mother left Ireland even earlier in search of work in England.

The only thing that mattered was that I had been born in England and had a funny accent.

Martin McDonagh's plays are pure mad but he has a point in his row with fellow playwright Conor McPherson

Do you have to have been born in Ireland to be Irish?

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