I have a long list of fantasy destinations around the world -- places where I would like to live for times ranging from two weeks to a year. Very near the top of that list is Ireland, both the 26 counties of the independent Republic of Ireland and the 6 counties of Northern Ireland (a member of the United Kingdom). It is a land brimming with history, myth, music and verdure. Excellent introductions to Irish culture may be found in Frank Delaney's novel "Ireland," and in Morgan Llewellyn's historical novels.
Today's NYTimes travel feature, Lost in Ireland, recounts Matt Gross' solo adventures among the residents of the Emerald Isle, driving a rented car and realizing that his preconceptions of the Irish (like most preconceptions) were midguided at best. It is a wonderful tale for any wannabe traveler, no matter what country you hope to visit.
Today also happens to be the 88th anniversary of the Constitution of the Irish Free State, the founding document for the Republic of Ireland. It established the first independent Irish state to be recognized both internationally and by the British government. Among its provisions:
- prohibition of nobility
- establishment of individual liberty and right to habeus corpus
- inviolability of the home
- freedom on conscience and worship
- freedom of speech, assembly and association
- the right to education for all citizens
- the right to trial by jury