Kathleen MacMahon: Anything seems to be the hardest word

We are a nation terrified of giving the slightest criticism or putting anyone’s nose out of joint, even if that rebounds badly on us later on

Sometimes, it’s best to say nothing – but we as a nation are too quick to dish out empty compliments. Picture: Getty

Twitter: @KathleenMacM

“That style won’t suit you,” said the woman in the swimwear shop, sizing me up with a glance as I plucked a swimsuit from her rail. We were on holidays in Catalonia, our first time abroad since Covid and we kept noticing things that were unfamiliar to us, like the feeling of proper heat on our skin and the sight of people sweeping the streets outside their shops and the most un-Irish practice ...