This is an absolute classic:
In every Irish classroom, children are reared on stories of oppression and rebellion. Every child understands the intricacies of Anglo-Irish relations. As a secondary English teacher, I can’t avoid plays, novels and poetry dealing with our complicated relationship with Britain. Irish students leave school with the historical and emotional weight of colonisation on their shoulders.
Compare that to Britain, where teaching English rightly involves texts focused on class, misogyny and injustice, often set around the second world war, but rarely relating to Britain’s relationship with Ireland, despite Ireland’s literary clout and proximity.
There are 5 million in Ireland. And 67 million in the UK. Britain looms very large in the Irish mind. And Ireland not so much in the British. For damn good reason too.
The one is vastly important to the other, but that relationship just doesn’t work the other way around.
The population of Ireland is about that of Greater Yorkshire. So, what portion of British education about literature, history or anything else should be devoted to that of Yorkshire?
Well, quite. The complaint is that for the British Ireland is trival. Yep, it is.