(On a political note, why would anyone be surprised? Ireland has an entire slew of archaic laws that were only repealed in 2006, including a law banning Jews from wearing armor and a law banning Irishman from sporting facial hair. As of 2009, blasphemy against the Irish church is fined by 25,000 euros. Divorce was only legalized in 1995, and, oh boy, but it is a song and dance to get the deed undone.)
It is therefore reasonable to imagine that Jewish leisure travel to Ireland may pause for a while. The historic interiors of classic Irish homes will likely go un-witnessed by our community. Therefore, as a public service, I will enlighten y’all on exactly what you are missing:
The original green roof.
Our public library may seem cool and contemporary, but the Irish were waaay ahead of the game. At a time when the rest of the world had discovered, y’know, roofs, the Irish were burrowing into the hills like the native fairies. These hill homes were cool in the summer and warm-ish in the winter (oh, heck, people literally froze to death), so what’s a little dampness and mildew here and there?
Oh, but surely they cannot all be so bad! I hear you cry. You are correct. The farmers’ hovels are worse, and the English castles are better. You can, in fact, book a stay at Helen’s Tower for a mere £279 for two nights – or at least you could until last week. The listing claims the tower is enchanted but does not specify the nature of the enchantment – in a country where witchcraft is actively illegal and punishable by a year in prison. (Did I mention the law situation?) Oh, and I can’t imagine why it says “adults only.” Probably the enchantment.
And how is the inside? Oh, but this is… lovely! I’m certain that hot pink carpet is original.
If you despair at the state of your kitchen cabinets, I invite you to examine those of Clomantagh Castle in Freshford, County Kilkenny. You would pay €1034 for the privilege.
It is a castle. I can show you where it says.
This is a castle, I tell you!
This may be more believable once you experience how the rest of the country lived. Behold the Irish home interior. The walls are made of a combination of mud, dung, hay, stones, and whitewash. You can do this look at home, but I’d honestly rather see it in your garage. Or nowhere.
Zisi Naimark holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The New York School of Interior Design and has been working for professional design firms since 2012. She lives in Kew Gardens Hills, where she is tolerated by her husband and sons. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.