Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Your Ma: A Critical Perspective

motherThere has been a tendency in recent times to recalibrate the matriarch by endowing her with glamour, sophistication or sex appeal. Unapologetically bucking this trend, however, is your Ma: a gormless, rotund but ultimately lovable woman, who makes a persuasive case that the best path forward for the Irish Mammy lies not in elegance or refinement, but in understatement and verisimilitude. True, it may seem excessive to lavish high praise on a woman who owns at least two Joe Dolan CDs. And there is a danger that the critical acclaim showered on your Ma may be deemed disproportionate in certain quarters. Yours, after all, is not a Ma with any great ambitions to declare, or knotty themes to articulate.

Instead she is a celebration of doggedness, discipline and bull-headed good humour. Whether folding, tidying or making brown bread, what marks your Ma out from her peers is the acknowledgement, implicit in her housework, that the satisfaction of these aspirations is usually transient, even if it can occasionally also be transcendent.