A logical question to ask me, I suppose, is: "Are you from Ireland?" or "Are your ancestors from Ireland?" I obviously don't have an Irish brogue, but yes, my ancestors are from Ireland--some of them. Like most Americans, I have other nationalities in my blood. Some English, some Welsh, even a bit of Cherokee. But by and large on both sides of my tree, I'm Irish.
Here's my question: Does it matter? Do you have to have some Irish blood in your line somewhere to be able to tell the the Irish stories I tell? Or to appreciate them, learn from them, and just enjoy them? I don't think so. But I do think you have to be "of Ireland."
I am of Ireland, And the Holy Land of Ireland, And time runs on,’ cried she. “Come out of charity And dance with me in Ireland.’
~W. B. Yeats, from The Winding Stair and Other Poems | 1933To borrow a line from Yeats, "I am of Ireland."
To me that means that the people and the legends
and the history speak to you.
It does not matter if you have one drop of Irish blood
running in your veins.
We are all brothers and sisters on this earth and the stories
of all men and all women
have the potential to speak to each one of us, if only we'll listen.
So never apologize for not being Irish
(as I've heard many people do on St. Patrick's Day.)
Just say, "I am of Ireland!"