English or Irish?

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English or Irish?

Postby Kate » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:36 pm

At the risk of causing a diplomatic incident, may I ask if Dusty considered herself to be English or Irish?
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Re: English or Irish?

Postby pat.dunham » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:58 pm

Hi Kate, first of all welcome to the Dusty forum.
As I see it Dusty was born in London and always lived in or nearby when in the UK. She often quoted "Irish is a state of mind". Her parents were of Irish descent, of which Dusty was proud. She visited Ireland quite a lot and enjoyed the peace and renewal it gave her. English or Irish Dusty to me is a lovable enigma.
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Re: English or Irish?

Postby Kate » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:03 pm

Thank you Pat for the welcome. I find this forum to be fascinating and I am so pleased that I can find information about a woman that I have been totally in awe of from a young age.
The reason that I ask such an odd question is that my father was Irish and my mother is English. I too was brought up a Catholic. (Catherine being the correct spelling of my name) I respect my roots but always consider myself to be English. Many articles write about Dusty's ancestry and I just wondered if she had a strong affinity to Ireland.
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Re: English or Irish?

Postby Sweetbaby » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:56 pm

ImageHello Kate. I'm not sure if you're aware that after we lost Dusty eighteen years ago a portion of her ashes was interred in the cemetery of St Mary's Church in Henley-on Thames and the remainder was scattered by her brother Tom along the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare - reportedly Dusty had advised Tom of her wishes in regard to the deposition of her earthly remains. I believe Dusty had visited the cliffs two or three years before her passing and had been struck by their beauty. Dusty's initial interest in the area was due to there being an observation tower at the cliff's highest point named O'Brien's Tower: it was built in 1835 by an Irish MP named Cornelius O'Brien who's not known to be any relation to Dusty.

In fact despite her patronymic surname O'Brien, Dusty's Irish parent was her mother born Catherine Ryle in Dublin and raised in Tralee: Dusty's father Gerald O'Brien was born in India of Scottish parentage and schooled in England, and reportedly did not identify himself in any way as Irish. In '62 or '63 Tom and Dusty brought their parents to Dublin to be in the audience for a Springfields appearance on The Late Late Show: when host Gaye Byrne asked Dusty's father: "How do you feel about being back in Ireland?", Gerald - then nearing sixty - replied that he'd never before been. (Gerald was fed the question pre-taping and advised to come up with a smoother reply: on-air his response remained: "I've never been"!)

Any way: I don't know about national identity but Dusty certainly was moved by Ireland and in a sense wanted to spend forever there as well as in her native England.
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Re: English or Irish?

Postby karl » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:58 pm

pat.dunham wrote:Hi Kate, first of all welcome to the Dusty forum.
As I see it Dusty was born in London and always lived in or nearby when in the UK. She often quoted "Irish is a state of mind". Her parents were of Irish descent, of which Dusty was proud. She visited Ireland quite a lot and enjoyed the peace and renewal it gave her. English or Irish Dusty to me is a lovable enigma.

Dusty's mother was of Irish descent but her father was of Scottish descent.
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