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Ethna Carberry waxes spiritual in her lovely poem, 'The Love Talker', but Donagh Mac Donagh introduces some sweet irreverence in his 'Going to Mass last Sunday'.Mass, indeed, was the principal meeting place until quite recently, and to judge by stories from the west, of traveller girls wearing their best weeds* to Mass, it still is for many.Elopement was reasonably frequent, necessitated by the parents' tight hold over marital arrangements.Some didn't wait for the blessing, according to the poem 'An Cuimhin Leat an Oíche Úd' ('Remember that Night'), and one poet doesn't even mention the prospect of marriage, but has trained the dog so well that he doesn't bark when the lover sneaks in.Given that this writer has experienced first-hand the romantic reserve of the Irish, a postulate is offered: Could it be that in the old days, we were blessed with so much passion in our poetry because we were emotionally stifled - by church and family?In 1999, Maighread Medbh did an extensive examination on the topic of the Irish in Love for Local Ireland: "In the nineteenth century things got a lot more personal, though still quite chaste on the official level.
On the other hand, when you're a kid, you don't notice subtleties such as a twinkle in the eye, a coquetish tilt to the head, or a brief brush against an arm or shoulder when putting the tea on the table.
From Willie Daly down at the Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival to asking someone to shift your mate in a teenage disco, Irish people have always enjoyed helping others find love.
We spoke to CEO of Luvguru, Liam Grant, who says:"Too often we saw people taking control of their mate's phone so they could start swiping on dating apps for them.
Surely, they'd roll over in their graves if they were to witness what can only be described as the wanton, wild ways of our modern society.
That's how they would perceive the notion of a woman asking a man for a date, the idea of living together before marriage, or, "Mary, Mother and Joseph," the scandal of having a child out of wedlock.