Photo by Stéphane Juban on Unsplash

Many years ago, I was invited to a wedding in Ireland. The ceremony took place in an old church, and the reception was held in the manor house of a once-grand Anglo-Irish estate. It was not what I expected (I’ve not been a regular at weddings, or had one of my own). But it did inspire me to start writing a short story, when I got back to the strange bed & breakfast that night.

Full disclosure: I’m half-Irish – but I didn’t grow up with, or even know, any of that side of my family. I was dimly aware of what that genetic heritage might mean (especially growing up in England during the Troubles), but never explored it.

I’ve re-written this piece many times over the intervening years, especially after I emigrated to the USA and met a lot of Irish-Americans, who displayed such an overwhelming longing for the old country it seemed seeped into their very bones. This is more their story, than mine. I’m still figuring out what my story is.

Some of this is true. Most of it is not. At least I don’t think it is. It’s hard to tell in Ireland.