We were at my son’s graduation during the week in Maynooth University.
We have been to a few graduations at this stage of my life as I have four children and they have all gone to 3rd level. So, myself and herself are used to the drill and the need for these occasions to be managed and organised to ensure parents are in attendance to see their child receive the scroll. There is a limit, however, to how many persons can be admitted to the lecture hall or venue in which the ceremony takes part.
This organisation involves the distribution of tickets to parents so usually there are only two tickets for each graduate.
However, my mother has attended all these graduations down through the years and there is always the problem of getting her in without a ticket.
To date, putting her head down and powering on has worked out fine.
She is a small woman in her 80s, so she is never in danger of being manhandled or anything of that nature. And she has always got in.
In Maynooth the other day we noticed the security ticket checker was actually checking the tickets at the entrance to the hall. I told my mother to tell him she had left her ticket on the kitchen table when she reached him.
When she did, he just laughed and waved her on.
It was a nice touch and a gesture of kindness that has not gone unnoticed. This has been our experience at all these graduations in various universities in the last few years.
I think bending or breaking the rules with little acts of kindness like this is a genuinely Irish thing. Long may it continue.