So You’re a new Irish Citizen – Things To Know before a Visit!
When visiting Ireland there are things to know, things that will make your stay better, help you to make friends and best of all, help you to get the very best out of your visit. So, you’re a new Irish Citizen, CONGRATULATIONS! 🎉🎉🎉 you came armed with an Irish Passport (to prove it), there’s a wee hint of red in your hair – (if the light shines just right) and you know all the Words of Danny Boy. This, my friend, does not an Irishman/woman make. There are unspoken rules, things we expect from our International brethren. Now is probably a good time to clue you in. Read on, this guide will serve you well on your travels😉:
1. Do NOT expect to find Bacon & Cabbage on a menu board anywhere, contrary to popular belief, it’s NOT the National Dish of Ireland! Ireland has come a long way in recent centuries, we have generally some of the best restaurants and eateries in the World serving a variety of International cuisine. We may offer you a Beef Stew and a pint of the black stuff but that’s probably as traditional as it gets here. ☕🍴🍺
2. PLEASE, for your own sake, DO NOT greet a person born in Ireland with “Hi, I’m Irish…” This may offend the actual Irish person you’re taking to. Because you have Irish Lineage, which is lovely in itself, ancient heritage does not constitute a national identity. Why not introduce yourself as having Irish Heritage instead, it’s a much more accurate description and will spare you the snigger and eye-rolling that you’re likely to meet in response. ☘
3. Happy St Patty’s Day! – DON’T SAY IT, no really, don’t! It’s not funny, it’s Paddy not Patty … Paddy, now say it again, Paddy … practice! Ideally, if you could refer to it as St. Patrick’s Day, you will offend nobody! Remember, the word Patty shall not leave your lips or the midge flies of Lough Sheelin will swarm you and eat you alive! 🐜🐜🐜 They go everywhere! True story!
4. Leprechauns DON’T exist! Honestly! We’re not keeping them hidden in a jail for little people, you won’t find one down the pub on a Friday night and the only evidence of a Leprechaun in Ireland is a little outfit in a glass case over in Carlingford, Co. Louth. It is said that the outfit was found in the Cooley Mountains and there’s a cute little story that goes with it for kiddies and tourists. It’s worth a look! Why not visit and do a tour here http://www.thelastleprechaunsofireland.com/ It’s really a great day out and great fun for all! I’m a complete sceptic but was soooo totally absorbed in it!
5. Nobody is going to say “Top of the Mornin’ to ya!” I think that was a John Wayne invention in The Quiet Man. If you say it, eyes will roll and groans will echo. This I promise you. We’re tired of it now. We love meeting people with a quick wit and originality, we enjoy the banter and will probably throw out every exclusively Irish slang phrase we know so as you’re mind boggles in confusion. We do it for a laugh and can keep a straight face while crying laughing inside at the lost look on our visitors faces. It’s fun!
6. Come prepared for RAIN ☔ and LOTS of it ☔☔ (or, thanks to global warming you might be lucky enough to experience a warm Irish summer). Ireland is a great little Country if we could only put a roof on it. Shorts, fanny-packs and sneakers are not standard attire (that word, fanny-pack, implies something else here :). It’s cold here, we have 4 seasons of rain usually, the only difference is whether the rain is warm or cold. All the rain storms of the Atlantic usually dump on Ireland before moving off towards the UK … Making Ireland the great storm breaker for the rest of Europe, we’re very neighbourly like that 😅.
7. We DON’T all know each other. Ireland is small but not that small!! It’s not likely we know your 4th cousins on your Mom’s side from a little island off the coast of Mayo. It’s a line of questioning that year on year, continues to dominate. 👫💃🕴👫
8. We’re sociable but we’re not easily impressed. Fame and Fortune hold no fascination for the Irish as a rule, we tend to look a bit deeper into a person to see what they’re made of. You’ll know you’ve passed muster when you’re being poked fun at openly, it’s a sign of endearment when such a familiarity is assumed…. or when one of your new friends slaps you on the back and loudly announces “It’s your round!”🍷. That means, you buy a drink for all in your group, never, ever just buy for yourself … you’re immediately going to be very unpopular. It’s seen as mean, tight and downright rude. It’s gonna get you unfriended really quickly! We enjoy the company of friends and don’t tend to get ourselves Paraletic (very drunk) or Ossified (very very drunk) on our own!
9. We’re not all religious zealots😇. Ireland has finally shed the 1950’s style Church dominance and is finding her own voice. We’re a much more cosmopolitan nation now, a cultural melting pot, the old Irish, new Irish, soon-to-be Irish, we’re all just getting on with things. We’re much more aware of the World now and are educated, well travelled and have held on to our flair for a Céad Míle Fáilte, you’ll see!
10. Chances are, somebody will greet you with the phrase “Any Craic?” Pronounced Crack, it’s the Irish term for fun, nothing whatsoever to do with illegal substances which make you see leprechauns and hear the Banshee (Bean Sídhe) 👻, its an entirely normal and everyday statement. So please, don’t think we’re drug dealers …. or that we’ve been up the fields at the Spire of Loyd in Co. Meath eating magic mushrooms 🍄 and talking to the daisies. Those mushies cause one hell of a headache, I’ve been told😆!