We imagine that in some Northern European countries, the enforced social distancing has not been as noticeable or lamented as it is here: self-sufficiency, logic, Calvinism and all that… but we Irish are a more gregarious lot and, yes, we are herd creatures. And this whole lockdown thing, with its Zoom parties and solitary walks and distanced classroom messing, especially does not suit us. And it is not just the pub, it is the bus-stop and the tea room at work and the hallways of a school and the walk in the park: all places where we would gather and chat and perhaps slip further down the national efficiency tables but have a darned good time en route.
Well, Mr. Dónal ÓDúlaing, Ms. Siobhan Dorman and their Sixth Year Irish classes reclaimed that last locale, the neighbourhood park, for Seachtain Gaeilge and for Ireland and for us last week with a long awaited return of the Poc Fada. Yes, the competition itself was keen and the celebration of our sporting culture important, but it was also great to just see teachers and students chatting and laughing and doing what we have always done so well!