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A less important Ireland

Ireland no longer needs self-pity or hyperbole to tell its story. Here is an account that returns to the Irish the right to be unremarkable Europeans

By Fintan O'Toole   January 2005

Writing in the Guardian on Oliver Stone’s new movie about Alexander the Great, Fiachra Gibbons described the difficulties of a Hollywood director trying to deal with a small nation’s sensitivities about its history. Faced with the competing claims of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia to Alexander’s legacy, “Stone’s… masterstroke has been to give Alexander and the men of the Macedonian phalanxes Irish accents, while the Greeks speak clipped English RP. Macedonians of all complexions are content with this, each convinced it favours their cause.” Epic history, apparently, speaks in an Irish accent. Or, to reduce it to an equation,…

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