You Didn't Grow Up in Ireland Unless You...

Had To Herd Cattle

We all remember those days. There you were, having the time of it running around outside like a proper nineties child (instead of sitting inside with an iPad) when suddenly a length of wavin pipe is being thrust into your nine year old hands. You're placed in front of a gate and told to herd the numerous cows and bulls headed your way. What you really did was shake like a leaf because you were convinced the bull was going to either eat you or kill you, or perhaps even both, resulting in you running away and getting the tongue lashing of your life when one of the cows escaped. Ah, good Irish memories.

Watched The Den

There simply will never be anything on TV as good as The Den. Good ol' Dustin, Socky, Snotzer and Francie made those long, rainy Irish days go by with a laugh. Fond memories of  "GO ON YA GOOD THING", "Where did ya get your shades?" , Francie not being able to get through five minutes without splitting his sides laughing and getting a big kiss from Socky on your Birthday (as well as your name being read out - you're famous now obviously) in between quality shows like The Morbegs, Pokemon and Rugrats still warm our hearts to this day.



Have Been Drinking Tea Since The Age Of Five

You can't get away without drinking tea in Irish society without getting dirty looks and being quizzed by all around you as to why you won't. Its taken as a deep personal offence if you refuse a cup of tea in someone's house. This was bet into us from a young age: "You'll have a cup of tae if you know what's good for you!". Cups of tea given to us at the young age of five usually consisted of three spoons of sugar in a cup of milk with a drop of tea, but we had begun the weaning process for the Irish institution that is the cup of tea and it did your mammy's heart good.


Heard Phrases From Your Grandparents You Couldn't Understand


You were both frightened and confused when you heard these classics from your Grandad and Granny: "well you'd survive on the clippin's of tins", "sure you're a lovely gossin", "cat malojan", "ya blackguard", "sure you're not fit to fart", "well isn't it well for you going out galavantin' AGAIN", "goodbye. Bye. Bye bye bye bye bye bye bye" (while on the phone), etc.


Survived on A Diet Of Potatoes

No dinner could ever be complete without some form of potato as far as your parents and grandparents were concerned. Boiled, mashed, roasted, creamed, baked or if you were very lucky even fried, they were simply an essential component to every meal. As for desert? A packet of cheese and onion Tayto's made from Irish potatoes of course.



Got The Bollocking Of Your Life To Get Up On Time For Mass

Every single Sunday morning: "David. David I am WARNING you!!!! This is your last chance, if you don't get up this INSTANT I'm getting your Father! You too, Shauna. Indeed you won't be ready on time if you get up in five minutes, don't you have to cover your face in that ROTTEN tan! Alright, fine. FINE. JIMMYYYYY! I'm at my wits end with this pair, get up here and sort your children out!"


Have Been Cured By The Magical Powers Of Flat 7Up and Warm Ribena


The only logical explanation for the healing powers behind flat 7up and Ribena is that your mother had magical powers which she infused into them to cure you. Yep, sounds legit.


Have Been Absolutely Terrified Of Slurry Pits

We all saw the ads on The Den. We all got lecture after lecture on staying away from the slurry pits. Apparently if one was within six foot of a slurry pit it would mean certain death.



Shifted Someone You Didn't Know

Thoughts of the youth disco you used to attend probably makes your skin crawl now. Ah yes, the sweat covered walls, the tutus, the tiaras, the runners, the washing-machine-type-shifts. Let's face it, you went for one reason and one reason only: to get the shift. On most occasions there were no questions asked, no name enquired, no age given, just straight in to lob the gob. Ah, Irish romance for you.


Thought You Were The Shit On Bebo


If you weren't on bebo, you weren't cool, end of. Also if yhuu dIdn'''t TawkK lyyk diZ :* whilst being cool on bebo, then you may as well not bother. Your "Top 16", three "luvs" of the day and "other half" were the cause of many arguments.


Learned How To Speak Irish & Now Remember None Of It

Dad: "Can you translate the news for me on TG4 there? I missed the one on RTE."

You: "Ehhh ... something about ... a road. And ... a car?"


Dad: "What?? What about the road and the car? Can you not translate this?! Did I not pay for grinds for you to do honours Irish for two whole years? You're only out of school for a year for Christ's sake Sinead!!"


Had A Brief Fling With Irish Dancing

Your mother had dreams of you becoming the next Michael Flatley so she dragged you to two hours of Irish dancing every Saturday morning until your screams of protest became too much for her and she relented. Your main reason for quitting was because Rugrats was on at the same time.



Made Annual Trips To The Bog

You were dragged along with promises of a packet of Tayto's and a glass of Mi Wadi at lunch time. Too bad "lunch time" didn't arrive for many, many hours. Going to the bog did provide you with great life lessons though, mainly not to forget to put on sunscreen (you learned that the hard way) and how to pee outside.



Feared For Your Life If You Left The Washing Out In The Rain

Not many can put the fear into you like your Mammy can, and by God you felt the fear those times she trusted you with the sacred washing line. You promised you'd remember to take the washing in if it rained. You swore you would. Did you? Nope of course not. So what now? "CIARA GET THE HAIR DRYER, WE HAVE TEN MINUTES UNTIL SHE'S HOME!!!". Similar to this is leaving the immersion on too long (God love you).


Loved Your Mammy

The dinners, the life lessons, her unparalleled anger if anyone upset her little angel, the sandwiches, the cups of tea, the endless piles of washing you bring home from college, the baking - the list goes on and on. She has been known to scare you the bejaysus out of you (refer to leaving the washing out in the rain) from time to time, but there's simply no better woman than the Irish mammy.


Emma Sweeney

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