This article first appeared in the Donegal Democrat

So there I was, down the country for a country wedding, and after the belt-bursting meal and the speeches they finally wheeled out the band, and for the first few rocknrolly songs the young ones bopped away.

Then the band slowed it down a notch, and the creaky arthritic fellas got up to dance with their wives and wiped the floor with the young ones. Worse, now that they were standing, they started jiving when the music speeded up again. The young fellas looked at their feet and shuffled a bit, while the young ones had a great time being twirled round the floor all night by the ould boys.

Nobody can dance anymore. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter; as there aren’t really dances any more, just disco barns, all you need is a reasonable sense of rhythm. But a few times a year, at a wedding or a dinner dance for the local football club, you realise what you missed.

Not all the traditions being lost as the Celtic Tiger culture grows are ancient.