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The Irish Paradox

"You can't make two plus two equal five": Sean Moncrieff on logic, drinking, taxes and a united Ireland

The radio host thinks we’re full of paradoxes.

Video TheJournal.ie / YouTube

SEAN MONCRIEFF’S NEW book is about Irish people and the funny, frustrating and mad ways in which we think.

We are friendly-ish, we want more services but lower taxes, we drink the same as others but we get the reputation for drunkeness and we want Irish people to come home from abroad, just as long as they know they’re not as Irish as the rest of us.

Moncrieff tackles all of this in his new book, The Irish Paradox.

This week, he told TheJournal.ie that Irish people, largely, just aren’t logical.

“Philosophers have said that Irish thinking is different from European mainstream thinking. In European mainstream thinking, if you have an assertion and it can be contradicted, that assertion is wrong. In Irish thinking, that’s not necessarily the case.”

Moncrieff says that Irish people are contrarian by nature and have differing ideas on tax.

“There are perennial debates about should we pay more tax or less tax. Nobody wants to pay more tax but everybody wants the things that you have to pay tax but somehow thinks they can magic it out of the sky.”

Moncrieff goes on to say that the Republic’s relationship with the North is also a contradiction.

“Throw a rock out the window and ask an Irish person do they want a united Ireland, one word answer and they would say yes. Give them more than one word and they’d say “yes, but I don’t want to have to pay tax for it, I want to be more like us”.

“Nobody wants to admit that the de facto situation is that most people in the Republic don’t actually want a united Ireland.”

Drinking, he says is a “psychological crutch”, saying that the “way and reason” Irish people drink is a problem, rather than the amount.

If he could fix one thing, the radio host says he would make logic a mandatory Leaving Cert subject.

“So that we would force our way to think that two and two doesn’t equal five, as much as you want it to.”

Read: “I see myself as 90% Irish…with some Brit bits”

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