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Irish Sunshine
By Celia Anderson
May 10, 2002, 15:42

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Working for an international Call Centre, I receive hundreds of calls from my Swiss customers. (Which is quite obvious, as I am Swiss Customer Services Representative). The point is, as soon as they discover that I am in Ireland, I can virtually hear the lights go on. So many people of Switzerland know and have heard about the Irish reputation. What reputation – you ask? The one stating that the Irish are the friendliest people on earth. They go on to tell me about experiences they have had with Irish people or in Ireland itself. I would have to second that opinion, not only because I live here, or that my partner is Irish, but because of the 18 months.

I came to Ireland alone. New job, new country, new life and new people. Meeting new people has always been an interest of mine, as most people can contribute interesting facts and experiences to ones life. The Irish contribute more than other nations. They have sunshine in their hearts. It might be the fact that the Irish weather is awful (most of the time). The country itself if absolutely beautiful. Just take a nice long drive through the Mayo area and you can’t help admiring its mind - boggling scenery. But the weather, oh boy !!! Wind, rain, dampness and sometimes all of the above at once. But, Who Cares? All one has to do is return a friendly “Hiya” and you have sunshine.

T'is Beautiful

I was born in Switzerland and at a tender age of 11 was moved down to South Africa with my three brothers in tow and my father in the lead. Growing up in the land of sunshine, was great. Although I thought I knew hardship and poverty (Until I read “Angela’s Ashes”), it was a good experience.

My Dad raised us 4 to his best ability, as a single parent, and I must say, although it must have been hard for him, he made a great job of it. Later in life, while we were all still young enough to appreciate it, he found help in a warm and lovely woman named Shirley (Mom). We were a large family, with four kids on my Dads side, and another 3 daughters on my Moms side. We had our ups and downs, but it was all worth it. THANKS DAD & MOM !!!

Now I have totally gone off the subject, but that is how good memories can throw you off the track. (Pardon the pun – as I am writing this on my way back to Dublin, and you guessed it – on the Mayo train.) What I was saying, I have met many friendly and interesting people in Switzerland, South Africa, England, Germany and Ireland. Whether it is the hardship the Irish suffered many years ago, or just something in their blood (No, not Guinness). One will never be short of a friendly “Irish” smile when one needs it most. Generally you are greeted with a “hiya”, which translated into English means “How are you?” and sent of with a “Cya”, again translated means “See you …!” This was a bit of a problem for me. You see, my name being Celia and when spoken fast sounds similar to “Cya”, has caused me to stop short in my tracks so often, I should be permanently suffering from whiplash.

I raise my hat (if I had one) to the Irish. To the Sunshine People.

© Copyright 2004 by the author(s)/photographer(s) and

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