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Will our shame be their nostalgia? Ireland’s Generation Z

Ireland’s Generation Z enjoying a snowfall in Northern Ireland, November 2010 Screenshot Courtesy The Irish Times / Original photo by Gary O’Neil

Ireland’s Generation Z enjoying a snowfall in Northern Ireland, November 2010 Screenshot Courtesy The Irish Times / Original photo by Gary O’Neil

Will our shame be their nostalgia? Ireland’s Generation Z

The best news articles I’ve read this year about Generation X were written by Irish journalists, Ed Power and Shane Hegarty. I blogged Ireland’s Generation X, and the first article The Irish Generation That Got Squeezed Out, soon after it was published.

The second, Why Children Will Look Back and Smile, was published on Sunday. It’s one of the most original perspectives about generations that I have ever come across. The title of this post comes from Hegarty’s last line.

Here is an excerpt, but you should take the time to read the whole thing. I think it’s fantastic. Snowfall in Ireland, and oh, so very hopeful without gushing sap. Enjoy, my friends!

“…We have a precedent of sorts here. Through this crisis there has been a sense of one generation having let down those who went before it; of having taken the sovereignty that was hard-won only to lose it; of having broken a country that their grandparents and parents scraped so hard to make.“Yet there are opportunities for some self-congratulation too. That’s because they inherited a country that was in atrocious shape. Previous generations – not everyone, of course, but as a collective – may have created a free State, but it was not a place of freedom. It was a cruel, censorious, narrow-minded theocracy.

“So the modern generation(s) may have helped to banjax the country financially, but they are also the ones who fixed many of the problems handed on to them. They made it a better place to be gay, to be a single mother or a child, and they encouraged artistic freedom. There have been failures, on a societal and individual level, but in many respects, Ireland has emerged a far better place than it was under previous generations.

Follow the writer, Shane Hegarty, on Twitter. He is the arts editor for The Irish Times.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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