“Why Can't Paddy Be a Gentleman?”


"Being told Pat couldn't be a gentleman" I'll ask why not? "Hasn't Ireland got her colleges" and won't he "greet you with a smile?" "You cannot give the reason why, I see it in your face ...actions make a gentleman, no matter what the birth"


There is, of course, a one word answer to the question in the title: "Catholicism." A fair number of people of Irish ancestry did in fact achieve at least landlord status, and some even entered the nobility. But nearly all, after the time of Tyrconnell, were Protestant. - RBW


  • Bodleian, 2806 b.11(213), "Why Can't Paddy Be a Gentleman?", unknown, n.d.


  1. O'Conor, p. 9, "Why Can't Paddy Be a Gentleman?" (1 text)
  2. BI, OCon009


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1901 (O'Conor)