Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Top Ten Tuesday - Australia

G'Day mates! I was pleased to hear Australian Prime Minister John Howard speaking so warmly of my country last night.

Mr Howard, who is on a four-day official visit, said Australia would be forever indebted to Ireland for shaping its national identity:

"Australia will forever be indebted to the Irish people for the contribution it made to the shaping of our national identity.

"It is also very much a contemporary relationship as well."

His comments are appreciated and the Irish people likewise value the relationship we have with the Australians too. I myself am fond of Australia so permit me to outline the top ten reasons why I like the land down under. Without further ado:

1. Historical ties - Obviously Ireland and Australia have a shared past and many Australians today are of Irish descent. There is a strong bond between our two nations.

2. Sporting prowess - I admire the strength of Australia when it comes to sport. They take sport seriously and it shows. It's always nice to see them beat the English at cricket and to do well in other sports.

3. The accent - How can you not love that accent? "G'day mates. Wanna put some food on the barby?" Brilliant.

4. Ned Kelly - He might be theirs, but he's partly ours too. A hero.

5. Kangaroos - Who doesn't like kangaroos? And Skippy is included through this choice for the record...

6. Kylie Minogue - No explanation necessary.

7. The Great Barrier Reef - One of the world's natural beauties...like Kylie.

8. Soaps - Where would we be without Australian soaps? They're so much more cheerful than the stuff we're used to over here. I can't stand Home and Away though. Neighbours has its moments.

9. Crocodile Dundee - Had to include this guy, didn't I? The film captured the world by storm...at the time at least.

10. Steve Irwin - He's like a real life Crocodile Dundee. Remember when this guy was really popular a few years ago? His popularity has waned a bit but he's still funny. Sort of.

So there you have it. The top ten things about Australia. Honourable mentions too for boomerangs, koala bears, Nicole Kidman and that chap that RTE uses for rugby match analysis.

Feel free to comment on my choices or to offer up some of your own.


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