It's our own fault. We have gambling genes and a reputation for being merry and alternative that outweighs our lack of civic competence. We have ancestors for foreigners who want them, and the fancy G Hotel for international design blogger conventions. Our shops will sell you fascinators if you couldn't fit yours in the luggage compartment. We're not backward: there are parts of town where we have embraced the modern way of life and inflict the tyranny of three for two on consumers who only want one.
We have a coastline. Drive very slowly along it in your retro VW camper van, pointing in admiration and holding us up. Gather our endangered orchids and bog-cotton for your apothecary jars. Photograph our quaint Irish road-signs. Dive in our world-famous seas and dance in our world-famous dives.
You'll find me on a fine soft day in Builín Blasta or O'Grady's on the Pier, or having afternoon tea in the Meyrick as though the fray on the streets were imagined. If you're John Lanchester, here for the Festival, I'll whip out my ancient copy of The Debt to Pleasure and tell you that I've waited years for this moment. If you're not, don't mind those Pink and Blue Children running riot; they're not mine. Sit down and let me buy you a drink.