Quote Unquote

Robert Downey, Jr. and Mel Gibson at the American Cinematheque Awards

By Irish America Staff
December / January 2012

A selection of quotes – some poignant, some hilarious – from Ireland and Irish America. 

The brilliant thing about Edna is that she was never embittered by the terrible experience she had of being rejected, of being castigated and spoken down to from the pulpit. She was always somebody with this extraordinary dignity about her, and that was really attractive, and she remains an incredibly attractive person,

– Writer and theater director Peter Sheridan at the opening night of a new production of Edna O’Brien’s groundbreaking 1960 book, The Country Girls, on November 8th at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre


“Mel and I have the same lawyer, same publicist and same shrink. I couldn’t get hired and he cast me. He said if I accepted responsibility – he called it hugging the cactus – long enough, my life would take meaning. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him…Unless you are without sin – and if you are, you are in the wrong [expletive] industry, you should forgive him and let him work.”

– Robert Downey, Jr. about friend and fellow actor Mel Gibson, who presented him with the American Cinematheque award at a star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles on October 14th.


“I do not believe it was made for purely economic reasons,” said Bishop Murphy. “Compare the estimated savings of about €700,000 to what some RTÉ stars were paid. The Holy See worked quietly behind the scenes and is a hugely important force. Ireland operates a mission to Ramallah in the West Bank, which is not a state, and closing the embassy just does not make sense.”

– Bishop Murphy of Kerry, speaking on Kerry Radio, criticizing the Irish government’s recent decision to close its embassy to the Vatican.


“We always like being the best kid in the class, even when it doesn’t get us very much,” David McWilliams told CNBC.com. “This doesn’t change that we have a debt crisis, a political crisis and an economic crisis all at once.”

– David McWilliams, the Irish economist, author and broadcaster, as quoted in a November 21st article on CNBC.com, discussing recent claims that Ireland is a role model for European countries facing economic bailouts.


“This revival is unlikely to supplant memories of the Tony Award-winning 1991 production, which had its premiere at the Abbey Theater in Dublin the year before. But to audiences who know the play only from the flat 1998 movie with Meryl Streep or not at all, its theatrical spell will be revealed. When a blast of Celtic music comes over the radio in the play’s most indelible scene, possessing the Mundy sisters one by one as they stomp and yelp and whirl in individual states of rapturous release, it’s impossible not to be transported along with them.”

– New York Times theater critic David Rooney on the Irish Repertory Theater’s production of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa.


“We feel we would never be able to give our children an opportunity in Ireland. We’re going to work hard out there, and earn a decent living.”

– Deirdre Cronin, an accountant from Cork, on her family’s plans to move to Australia. From a recent New York Times article entitled “Ireland’s Austerity Hailed as Example of Financial Survival,” which explored the effects of the austerity measures on the everyday lives of Irish people.

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