I have been grumpy all week. Now that is not necessarily an unusual disposition.
This week it is brought on by constitutional issues. Now that is not necessarily unusual either. But this week has taken the proverbial pip.
It all started with lovely friends sending us an invitation to their wedding in the South. I couldn’t be happier for said friends and couldn’t be happier to be invited. That was not the start of the grumpiness.
The mood started with booking the hotel. Their online reservation site asked me was I resident in a. Ireland or b. UK.
Now I am not so naïve as not to know what was coming but I chanced my arm, a. I live in Ireland. Onto the next question. What county do you live in? And a drop-down box eyed me up. I hit it. The first county was Carlow. You know the state of affairs when that happens. I had to return to the beginning. I had to enter that I live in the UK. Then the occupied six appeared in the drop-down box beside the “Northern Ireland”. Grrr.
We all know this scenario. Those of us identifying as Irish have every day compromises foisted on us. But it did not end there. No.
I woke up to the radio telling me that some ombudsman somewhere is going mad because those of us shopping from UK sites and getting stuff delivered to “Here” are charged more, despite the companies saying “Free delivery to the UK”. They are taking this head on by… making them say upfront that Northern Ireland costs more. I could have smiled at this obvious example of how British business really does not treat “Here” as all that British after all. But I didn’t. I was still burning from the dispossession of my citizenship by a stupid hotel reservations app.
Then I found out my lovely pre-nuptial friends are facing a scenario for Irish citizens born in this part of Ireland getting married in the South. Their Irish citizenship is not so constitutionally recognised. They are forced to jump through hoops upon hoops costing thousands of pounds to allow them to marry in their own country. Someone somewhere is taking financial advantage of us being viewed as less Irish. The poor couple in question have to make multiple applications and trips across the “invisible” border to prove their eligibility. I believe a certain Irish senator from Short Strand who writes for this paper is taking the case on.
And then the Fine Gael party who in a speech, promised us the nationalist nightmare was over, basically said that they would not enter a coalition government with Sinn Féin because it would affect their relationship with unionists in the context of the Good Friday Agreement. The implication being that all parties on the island need to be partitionist and that parties with all-Ireland representation just are not Irish enough for the Irish parliament. Not sure how this stacks up with Leo and Simon wanting a united Ireland in their lifetime, but I have been tripping over words like blue and shirt since the weekend. Collins and Griffith certainly left their legacy walking out of Downing Street.
And none of this will get better with Brexit.
Told you I was grumpy.