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May 17, 2012

AN SIONNACH FIONN

I’ve always been a bit of a Sherlock Homes fan (or the much more impressive Irish form, Searbhlach de Hoilm!), especially since he was born of the imagination and pen of an Irish-Scots writer, one Artúr Iognáid Conán Ó Dúill or Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle. Doyle’s relationship with his ancestral homeland was problematic, to say the least, and there is a strong argument that he tapped into the anti-Irish prejudices of his day for the Sherlock Home’s stories, most tellingly in the Irish surnames he choose for Holmes’ two chief protagonists: Moran and Moriarty. He himself veered in his politics over the span of a lifetime from un-apologetic British Imperialist and Unionist to possessing somewhat more nuanced and socially liberal views of the world and Ireland in particular (by 1911 Doyle was convinced of the need for Home Rule or limited autonomy for Ireland within the…

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