In a piece on the Guardian’s website, top Irish author Roddy Doyle, a Booker Prize winner, has said that he moved into a ‘post colonial moment’ by contemplating backing England in this year’s World Cup and that he would bet on and support the side in the future.
The writer, who resides in Dublin, said that “Until quite recently, to be Irish meant to be not-English”, but said that handing a docket backing England over the counter at a Dublin bookies was a transformative moment that symbolised that he, like Ireland, had moved on.
The author, though, did not go ahead with the bet. Instead, he chose to back Argentina, and reverted to his old self by “cheering on every German attack and sneering at everything English”. He asked his brother if he were cheering because Germany were the better team, to which his brother said ‘yes’, but the author recounts how the two knew that they were lying.
The author finishes his piece with a promise to actualize his planned ‘post colonial moment’ though in the next World Cup, in 2014:
“I decided this morning: in 2014, I'm going to back England. I won't change my mind on my way to the bookies; I won't let myself. Mind you, England probably won't qualify and I'll be backing Ireland instead.”
The author is considered one of Ireland’s greatest living wordsmiths. His Dublin-based creative writing center, Fighting Words, is one of the only in Ireland to provide free tutoring in creative writing. His work has traditionally focused on life in working class Dublin. His novel ‘Paddy Clarke HA Ha HA’ won the Booker Prize in 1993.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore