The Irish in France

Taken from today's Irish Times:

"As Irish rugby fans flock to Paris next weekend, RUADHAN MACCORMAIC takes a tour of the places in the French capital where the Irish have left their mark

You don’t have to dig that deeply beneath the surface of modern Paris to unearth the Irish imprint. Thousands of Irish have made the French capital their home and are constantly renewing the deep ties between the two countries. Estimates of the number of Irish in Paris range from 10,000 to 15,000, in a vibrant infrastructure that includes the Irish college, the GAA club and dozens of Irish-run businesses. The Irish state works assiduously on cultivating the relationship, France being one of Ireland’s biggest export markets and a source of tourists. A stroll around Paris reveals Irish echoes almost everywhere – in some places the link is explicit (Place de Dublin, rue des Irlandais, Square James Joyce) but at times it’s more oblique – a spot where Brendan Behan liked to drink, Eileen Gray worked or Oscar Wilde “died beyond his means”."

To read the whole piece, follow the link.

Don't mean to sound rude, but why go to a foreign country to only seek out Irishness. The idea of tourists spending their summer holiday in a Santa Ponza Irish pub springs to mind. What a pity.