Rural Ireland is sometimes treated in a stereotypical, near condescending way by sections of the Dublin-based media, who refer to everywhere outside of the capital as “down the country”.
Now how you could be “down” the country when living in Donegal escapes me, and while this column is obviously taking a literal interpretation of the phrase, the subtext to me is clear.
Being ‘down’ implies being beneath those making that initial observation; as if you’re somehow a lesser form of being from a less important part of the country.
Whether you’re from Ballyduff, Ballyhaunis or Ballyjamesduff, as far as the ‘ould’ Dublin phraseology is concerned, wherever you are, you’re ‘down’. Hiberno-English how are ya?
But there’s a paradox at play here, since a great deal of us in Waterford will talk of going ‘down’ to Cork or Kerry, but local useage of that phrase is, moreorless exclusively linked to geography.