21 Things Only Living In Ireland Can Teach You

If you've lived in Ireland for any amount of time, it quickly becomes clear that the Irish are a unique group of people with their own sense of humour, style and a globally accepted stereotype, which is true for the most part. A small island country with a population of 4.5 million, but a whopping 80 million people claim to be Irish abroad, we certainly like to spread our wings and fly the nest.

Here are 21 things that only living in Ireland can teach you.

21. A "lightweight" is among the worst insults an Irish man can receive.

Irish men are considered born drinkers - it's in their genes. There's a very foggy line between an alcoholic and a champion drinker. Your father's father's father was a king among men in the pub. Don't let him down. The lightweight insult can cut an Irish man right to the core of his existence. It's like a sucker-punch right to his jaw.

20. Your boss will come into work hungover just as much as you do.

It's true. Never will you have a boss anywhere else in the world where they will arrive into work hungover as much as yourself. It can be a good thing, but also a very bad thing.


19. Lots of Irish shag off to the USA, Canada or Australia.

Emigration is in our history, and it hasn't showed any signs of stopping any time soon. From the great Irish famine to the modern day. Is it simply because we like to travel or because the economy at home is gone to shit? It's a bit of both.

18. The Gardaí are actually a lenient brand of law enforcement.

Gardaí are capable of "having the craic" on the job. They understand Irish culture. Think about it, if you were caught drinking in public, where else in the world would you have a police offer say to you: "ah come here, would you finish that can and put it away?" Nowhere - the US have no qualms about throwing your ass in a cell for a night for that shit!


17. Every taxi man will bitch and moan about the Irish government.

You can fully expect to hear your taxi driver dump all his problems on you, and bitch about those in power during your drunken 4am cab home.

16. NEVER will you ever have "just the one."

"Ah I'll just have the one." NEVER has this ever been the case in the history of any Irish man or woman. Not even your granny! We all know what it means. 8 pints, 2 baby Guinness and a vodka Red Bull later you're wondering how it got to this stage so quickly. We all have a love-love affair with the demon drink.


15. We are the only people to say "bye" at least 10 times when hanging up the phone.

"b-b-b-bye, bye, bye, bye..." Where did it come from? Why is it necessary to say goodbye this many times? Nobody knows, but it caught on and spread like wildfire. I physically CANNOT hang up the phone without doing this anymore, and believe me I've tried. It just doesn't feel right.

14. Irish mothers are among the most worrisome in the world.

Your Irish mother will worry if you go outside in autumn with "just a t-shirt" on, she'll stay up to "make sure you got home okay, and she WILL ensure that you "have a good breakfast" in the morning. She has definitely said to you: "Sure wouldn't it be worse if I didn't give a shit about you?" What a lovely breed they are though.


13. The increasingly rising prices in cigarettes won't stop us from smoking.

If you're a smoker, you're going to smoke. How hard is it to go out and have a few drinks and NOT smoke? Ridiculously hard! A packet of John Player Blue or Marlboro Lights will be upto €15 in no time at the rate that they're increasing, but that still won't stop us! We're not quitters.

12.Old Irish men still wave to strangers in the street.

Particularly in the more rural areas of the country, old men will wave at passing cars and nod to strangers in the street. Some people think this is weird but I think it's a breath of fresh air. Who doesn't love a friendly old Irish man with a Paddy cap on his head and a wooden pipe in his mouth?


11. Ever Irish person freaks out and goes overboard when they see the sun.

Sunburn! Sunburn galore! Every year it happens for a couple of weeks when the clouds disperse and the sun emerges, and EVERY year we learn the same lesson. Irish skin can't hack the sun! We all end up looking like a baboon's arse waddling around town in the summer.

10. Dublin is divided into simply "northsiders" and "southsiders."


It doesn't matter how you talk, what you dress like or where you live now - which side of the River Liffey you grew up on will determine whether you're a northsider or southsider for the rest of your life.

9. A small country like Ireland can have a shitload of different dialects!

How can a country so small have SO many different dialects? I'll be honest, I can't even name them all, and I still have trouble understanding some people from the back arse of the country on occasion, so I can sympathise with some tourists' frustrations!

8. There are lots of different ways Irish people can say "no."


"You're alright," "nah", "you're grand." None of these actually make sense outside of Ireland so we have to remind ourselves to speak common English when we go on holidays or are conversing with someone from abroad.

7. GAA fever is a passion unmatched in any other sport.

Nothing can prepare you for the atmosphere inside Croke Park on a cup final day! I'd rather be in Croker for an ALll-Ireland final than in the Maracana Stadium for the World Cup final. With SKY on board now, we're sure that Britain and beyond will finally get a chance to see the game in all its glory, but it still doesn't compete with sitting in Hill 16 on that day!

6. The "drunken Irish" stereotype is pretty true.


One of the cultural stereotypes that rings true, we don't always cover ourselves in glory. But we do like to drink, and we do like to have a good time. Let's face it though, there are worse stereotypes to have...

5. Beautiful women seem to hibernate in the winter, but reappear every summer.

What is it? Maybe the re-emergence of skirts, sundresses and summer clothes? Whatever it is, the summertime definitely has the pinnacle of Irish talent on display.

4. There are no homeless people down the country.


That's right. I defy you to find a homeless man in County Carlow. There are none! In the towns where everybody knows everybody, the sense of community is among its highest and everybody likes to help everyone else out. We could do with that a bit more in the cities.

3. It's crucially important to wear a condom.

We sure do love to get around when we're young, single and enjoying ourselves. But with some of the people that we meet on our drunken escapades, we all understand that it is vitally important to wrap it up!

2. The word "craic" can be mistaken for something else outside Ireland.

"What's the craic? ... That's shite craic." Or simply, "any craic?" A phrase often used by the common Irish person. However you must be careful if using it abroad as you may quickly find yourself being offered some narcotics... It only applies in Ireland!

1. Irish people are among the happiest in the world.

It's amazing how happy and upbeat Irish people can be when we have the worst weather for 9 months every year. We've been troubled with famine, oppression, emigration and economic collapse and we've always come out the other side. Onwards and upwards lads!

Alan Condon

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