Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Ellie and David

A New York Times article on Ireland being the exception to the stereotype of aging European societies (“The Irish, Young in �Old Europe,� Strain Schools and Housing”), confirms two hunches I have long harboured:1) About 35% of Irish girls under the age of 6 seemed to be called Ella, Ellie, Evie, or some other two-syllable name beginning with “E”. (This unwanted popularity is a source of some distress to middle-class parents (including yours truly) who thought that “Ellie” was appealingly novel, steering between the Scylla of “Tazmin”-style deracinated preciousness and the Charybdis of fada-decorated titles faintly remembered from folk legends.) 2) There is a journalistic code that specifies if an article mentioning Irish demographics or economics appears in an non-Irish publication, it must feature a quote from David McWilliams, who will in turn “explain” the whole shebang in one digestible and hugely iffy quote. Viz: “Since the overall Irish population and the immigrants are both young,� he said, �there is less of a confrontational attitude. Young Irish see young immigrants as a dating opportunity more than the employment threat a 50-year-old would see.� Or even a 55-year-old, like Enda Kenny?