I worry about it. I remember talking at length with Roseanne Harvey after she took over Lynch’s Pub and built a new, sterile O’Curry Arms that had no Irish personality at all. I talked to her about merchandising — music, dancing — the Irish touch. She never heard me. I watched as the O’Curry Arms literally dried up and closed. Our neighbors too, yearned for Lynch’s Pub.
We stood on the sidelines for years as the Irish have exhibited embarrassment over their “Irishness." They did not seem comfortable with their traditional Irish music. They appeared to be unaware of the beauty of Ireland. They just seemed to feel inadequate. How many times had they said to us, “And why is it you come to Ireland?"
We watched the development of the Common Market with all the talk of a single European currency, a breaking down of national boundaries and a policy of giving money to Ireland by the richer Common Market members. This created a situation that placed Ireland on a dole similar to that which Ireland gives its own citizens.
It appears that the wonderfully rich culture of Ireland is in danger of being pushed aside in favor of “being modern like the big important nations." In an attempt to be more like all the rest of the world, I feel that Ireland could lose its most precious asset — itself.
For years, I have watched Americans and Europeans come to Ireland to visit, to buy property and to try to fit into “Irishness." The natives of the country cannot seem to understand why we come, looking for something that is not glossy, plastic or polluted. Finally, including an article1 that speaks for itself. The Irish Tourist Board, by their own words, is out to change “our international holiday image." Read this in its entirety and perhaps you will join me in saying, “Please be careful Ireland. What you have is a rare and fragile beauty. You are an endangered species on this planet. Please be careful."
After we returned to America and before the new owners took over, we had given Liscrona to Sue and Paul Olsen and their friends so they could enjoy a final visit to Liscrona. After all, Sue had been coming to visit us since the early 70’s and she was going through the same grief we felt.
She reported to us that on the last night of their visit they invited Michael and Nora and John Lynch down for dinner. Then they all sat around and “remembered." It went on until quite late. Then they all got up and went outside to the flag pole where the American flag was flying. They gently lowered the flag, folded it properly and brought it back with them. glad Maria and I were not there on that occasion . neither one of us could have gotten through it.
I owe you a little on the family that took over Liscrona, the people who saw in this spot what we loved. We have not met this German family in person, as yet. Tobias and Petra Eichmueller. They have three daughters. Tobias is a lawyer, about 50 and that makes him the same age I was when we bought Liscrona. We never met personally. All negotiations were conducted by our lawyers. I have several of the letters we subsequently received from Tobias. He sounds like a fine gentleman and I will include several of his communications2 so you can read for yourself. Sure he won’t mind.
We left him the complete Liscrona House history and sincerely wish for his family the joy we had experienced since 1971. Sometime in the future, when my own wounds have healed, we hope to meet them — but not at Liscrona. I want to remember the Old Grey Lady as we left her that morning in "95.