Moira is the best Irish rep I’ve ever encountered
Alright hear me out. When Moira was revealed, I was super psyched to see that she was Irish, and not a stereotype whatsoever. Like, I genuinely spent a whole day practically in pure excitement because Blizzard had not only created Irish rep (a SERIOUSLY rare thing for us, aside from dopey background characters), but one who was based around true Irish culture. Rather than a drunken brute with a beer belly and wearing green all over- you know, the way media portrays us regularly- we got a character based on Genuine Irish Culture
This is PARTICULARLY prevalent in the Moon skin, which has numerous nods to Celtic culture- pagan symbols, a design mirroring common depictions of Irish deities such as the Morrigan or sorceresses such as Aoife, the wicked queen who transformed her stepchildren into Swans in the tale of the Children of Lir.
I really dig the concept of a sorceress themed Irish character with the power of genetics on her side, specifically because of the conscious effort Ireland as a country is making to have more and more science based jobs, specifically for women. It mightn’t have been intentional, but I wouldn’t be surprised!
These aside, however, there’s one thing that made me extremely happy, and ultimately left the impression that Blizzard had done a very good job with Irish representation: the fact that Moira is a Gaelgoir, or a fluent Irish speaker.
She’s got almost as many lines in English as she does as Gaeilge, in Irish. The reason this is such a big thing compared to, say, Sombra having so many Spanish voice lines is that Irish is very much so a language that’s struggling to survive and is slowly but surely dying. Ireland has a population of just under 5 million, and of those 5 million, only 70,000 people speak Irish fluently outside of the education system, and only 20,000 of those people speak it as their first language.
By having Moira be clearly one of those 20,000, judging by how often she uses Irish- which is a hell of a lot more than anyone I’ve ever heard in my life, because we all speak English rather than Irish- Blizzard have given the Irish OW community something which means more than they could have possibly imagined- the first good piece of Irish representation that I’ve ever encountered, and for the first time ever: I feel truly represented!