“With the uniformity engendered by globalisation, there is a real danger that our culture of individuality will be diluted. This would be an obstacle to artistic creativity and community inspiration.
We use labels like "cultural diversity" and "multi-cultural" very casually without considering their context or import. Because of the history of Ireland and the conquest culture which we endured from several quarters, we absorbed and adapted several influences.”
“It was our visionaries, writers, artists and cohesive communities who provided the antidote to ensure that we would not be culturally submerged by oppressive influences.
The Irish have always been generous in acknowledging the culture of other countries. Very often these cultures mirrored our own aspirations and challenges. There was an unspoken affinity between us.”
“Multi-cultural should not mean every culture but our own. It should not mean that we all aspire to the lowest common denominator. It should not be pseudo-liberalism at the expense of essence or substance.
At the root of culture are people. They deserve respect, humanity and equality of opportunity. 1t would be alien to the individuality of any race that in order to be respected they must conform to the exclusion of that individuality. It would be disingenuous of a host country to believe that we show respect to the visitor by pretending to be something we are not.”
“You cannot truly legislate for cultural diversity. It grows with awareness, exposure and interaction. It achieves impetus from the spirit of a nation with all its attendant experiences and aspirations. But, above all, it is nurtured in the cradle of humanity.”