I think most farmers have grown up with some kind of cultural or community involvement. In many cases, it’s a piano in the corner of the living room, in many more it’s an involvement in the local GAA, but it’s increasingly clear that a society that encourages its youth to an involvement beyond the academic and the pursuit of a livelihood has a glue that makes it work.
Over the last fortnight, I’ve been exposed to two separate events where the Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke about the importance of the arts and culture in the broadest sense. I had never seen him quite like this before but it’s clear that the broad feeling of disenchantment that led to the UK to vote to leave the European Union and also saw the election of Donald Trump in the US has struck a chord with the Irish political establishment. I’m not sure if it was sparked by the success of the 1916 commemorations – the central part that the armed forces played in those commemorations and more to the point, the inclusiveness they exhibited by involving people from various traditions in the country.