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And yet, privilege found a way of bursting through; nearly a third of the current cabinet are privately educated - compared with just 7pc of the population generally.Perhaps less surprisingly, the judiciary and legal profession are stuffed to the gills with privately educated people.And yet it has mysteriously been elevated to a national sport, and its muddied oafs are icons, who make Lillie's groupies of all of us.More than any other game, it seems to cross-pollinate the worlds of business and politics.The manners are crucial, because, in Ireland, the most ferocious snobbery is always inverse.Privilege is only an advantage up to a point, and can quickly turn into a liability.If a private schoolboy commits a crime, the school's name is generally emblazoned in the newspaper headline, along with the crime itself and some tutting about the lawyers that he can afford; the Annabel's trials were most memorable in this regard.
The result has been that pop music has seen an influx of supposed former rugger buggers.
A private-school education has become increasingly popular in Ireland.
Even through the recession, the top schools increased their numbers - and their fees.
It reveals that, despite our stated revulsion for all things rugby-school, we're still suckers for the competence and character that is subtly conveyed by floppy hair, ruddy cheeks and southside drawls.
TDs are more than twice as likely to have gone to a private school than the average Irish person (18 of the male TDs in the current Dail are privately educated - a slight increase from the last Dail).
he's looking at me like I've got two heads and I don't know what happens now ... I don't get on with my real ladder." • Peter Kay's best jokes We all know the international sign for asking for the bill. And heaven help you if you're on a work's night out.