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Richie has his own theatre group and is involved in musicals. Why doesn't he get new immigrants into Limerick involved? Has he tried?


Ritchie Ryan's article attests to the myth of Irish hospitality. Our so called friendliness as portrayed by Richie involves blaming other nationalities for our failures.. the new greedy self-indulgent Irish culture. Lack of friendliness might be the result of dire conditions, pay and training of many non-national retail staff(non-national or otherwise)? However - why not open the lines of discussion - this is the way the arguments are heard. I'm sure if theatre groups actively sought to involve non-nationals they would be only too delighted to become involved!


I have to say having lived in Ireland for over thirty years I am yet to come across this gargantuan "friendliness" of the Irish in the service sector.

For Richie Ryan to label all "non nationals" as unfriendly in the service industry is a gross generalisation. There is as much individual difference amongst people of other cultures and countries as there is in our own. I do not think it is intelligent to label all non Irish in one sweeping article. It is unhelpful to say the least and goes no way toward looking at real integration issues.

We should be asking the question why indeed is there not a body of non Irish in our theatre scene in Limerick. It is our theatre practitioners, directors and teachers that should be taking a long hard look at their practices, practices that somehow preclude this new and exciting and as yet untapped talent that makes up the fabric of our city.


This tired old discredited argument has been trotted out so many times now it hardly merits a response. Yes Ireland has become more unfriendly in the last ten years but this can be directly attributed to the rise of a culture of greed and self-centredness that has accompanied increased profit and the frenzied grab for a share of it. Although they have gotten a far smaller share of the cake and in certain industries have to listen to drunken racial abuse on a weekly basis, it is preposterous to suggest that 'rudeness' is the preserve of the services industry. It is clear that Mr Ryan is not a victim of the Irish private rental sector for example. The reason there aren't more 'non-nationals' (ugh that phrase) in the theatre is because it is largely run by a white middle class elite that is impossible to penetrate unless you are one of the above. Irish theatre is obsessed with 1950s-Ireland plays and material that represents what is new and exciting is either not being written, or is not given a voice. Rather than sitting around making school-marmish, simplistic statements about the few people who manage to squeeze their way into the country it would be far more productive to discuss how to make the one triumph on the Irish artistic landscape - the theatre - reflect its surroundings the way the haloed playwrights of the last century did.


I think it is a bit of a waste trying to save theatre in its present form. No wonder there is no immmigrants at the belltable- they have more sense.
However the other point by ryan is correct an intercultural approach requires both sides to place forward their expectations and customs and then to try and recognise and respect. Unfortunately it seems to have slipped him by somewhat that Ireland no longer has the values he holds dear. In fact it might be worth asking what does Ireland stand for? Is it all about being a 'househunter in the sun'?


I’m struggling to follow Mr. Ryan’s logic. Here’s what I have so far:

* “We Irish” are an incredibly welcoming and friendly race of people, known worldwide since famine times for our high standards of customer service

* We don’t, however, have to extend that friendly welcome to non-Irish workers. It’s quite acceptable to make sweeping generalisations about their unfriendliness in a public forum such as the Events Guide

* In fact, if we are to foster the “friendliness of Ireland”, the best way to do so is by making unfriendly comments about our new citizens and residents

* Some people prefer nightclubs to theatres.

Have I missed anything?


Hear, hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Steve McNamara

This kind of article is disappointing at the best of times; such sweeping generalisations, without any supporting evidence, and without cognisance of the potential impact of such language on impressionable young people is particularly worrying when it comes from a supposed educator.

At no point in his article does Mr. Ryan indicate that he has direct experience of discourteous treatment in the service industry from staff who are not Irish citizens (the vast majority of people are "nationals" of somewhere, by the way - I've never met a non-national in my life!); yet he has no apparent difficulty in postulating that his experience of discourtesy might in some way be their fault?

If Mr. Ryan's students were to submit such an unsupported postulation for assessment, I would presume that they would find themselves receiving diminished marks?

Interesting that Mr. Ryan claims that courtesy still exists within the Arts - his attitude as displayed in his article is as strong a rebuttal of that claim as I could expect to find. Fortunately, as a musician myself, I am glad and grateful to say that his attitude is far from typical of the corner of the Arts sector with which I have contact.

Mr. Ryan asks what has happened to "Thank you" or "Your welcome" ("you're welcome", I presume?).

A more pertinent question may be what has happened to Mr. Ryan's sense of decency and fair play.


The logic in "friendly" Mr Ryan's article is certainly hard to follow ... especially the big leap from "we are all so busy that we don't have time for staff training anymore" to the conclusion that people not born in Ireland are less friendly than people who were born here (like him?)!

Just wondering how he could tell that there were no "non-nationals" at the theatre? Did he talk to everyone and ask to see their passport? Or maybe demand that they spoke a few words of Irish? Or is he assuming that a black person could not be Irish, and an Irish person could not be black?


I think he'll be regretting that one! In my experience, and i work in the customer service industry, it is the irish staff in shops/restaurants who don't give you the time of day and are whinging to the customers about how shit their job is. Any time I have organised a group from work to go to the theatre at least 50% are non-Irish even though only about 25% of the workforce is! To me that is proof enough that they are making the effort, maybe us 'Irish' should be making a bit more.


It's just so easy to blame the non-nationals for our own inefficiencies. In fact, they seem to get blamed for just about everything. We're turning into a nation of xenophobes.
We have non nationals doing the work we don't want to do and then we criticise them for the way they do it.
I'm just so glad that I was shown such respect and friendship during the 15 years I lived abroad and I only wish the same for those who've come to live in my country.


Embedded in this thinly veiled xenophobia is a relevant argument about the lack of diversity in Irish theatre. It is small wonder considering that Kwame Kwei-Armah's Elmina's Kitchen, which is currently showing in London is the first play by a black British writer to make it into the West End (in London, imagine). It would be astonishing, however welcome if the scene was other than that in Limerick given the comments above. Ryan's strange logic assumes that it is a lack of some sort of cultural senstivity on the part of every immigrant that explains their absence, as opposed to the obvious impenetrability of the theatre. This is what people should be talking about - framed in this way however, it is inflammatory rather than thought-provoking. Thankfully, the London fringe does produce consistent, innovative and representative theatre. Limerick doesn't have to wait fifty years to emulate it - depressingly however, it probably will.


Oh dear, that old tripe again Richie;maybe the effects of your pantomime and farce haven't worn off yet.Where were you when a group of refugees made a scintillating c.d. of song drumming and dance perhaps they overlooked your presence at the launch? You have alienated a lot of people by your short-sighted ignorance including potential adult students, I think I'd rather go to a night club and see some real drama.


Is Mr Ryan really worth all these comments?........... we should all vote with our feet and boycott his acting school - who would want to be taught by a man like this?
(some of the above comment has been edited by site admin)


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