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9 Surefire Ways to Spot an Irishman Abroad

by Sorcha O'Higgins Jan 20, 2015
1. We will offend you with our inappropriate humour.

Us Irish may be renowned for the “craic,” but certainly not for our tact. Casual sexism, racism, and toilet humour can sometimes get the Irish in hot water abroad. But we don’t mean it, really! Being from a somewhat backwards island on the edge of Europe, we’re just a bit isolated and sometimes forget that our crass jokes don’t translate overseas. But we’ll make up for any offence caused with copious pints, and the next day all will be forgotten.

2. We very well may be singing “The Fields of Athenry” at the top of our lungs.

It’s no secret that us Irish can get fairly drunk and fairly rowdy. After a few jars, you just might find yourself grabbed in a friendly headlock in attempt to welcome you into the raucous holiday bosom.

3. We will be wearing GAA jerseys.

GAA is a collective noun for national Irish sports. The jersey will vary depending on where you’re from and what sport it represents. It is always an essential holiday item for the lads, forever reminding them of that little green island they call Home, lest they forget it after two weeks on the sauce.

4. You will be unable to differentiate our skin from our teeth.

Us Irish are blessed with a ghostly pallor, the legacy of Celtic genes and minuscule periods of sunshine. Our skin will remain this way until we go on holidays, and then…

5. In sunny regions, our skin will have the colour of an arse repeatedly slapped with a metal spatula.

It does not take more than 10 minutes in direct sun for our virgin skin to turn from a shiny white to a shiny red.

6. We will slag the shit out of you.

Us Irish are big into taking the piss out of people. This can be particularly problematic for Americans, who aren’t in tune with the Irish ways of forming bonds with people. And I promise you, this is our intention. But on the plus side, it does give you a free pass to make as much fun of us as you want without holding back — and doing so will guarantee you a place in the circle of trust.

7. We certainly won’t be taking ourselves too seriously.

Being Irish is possibly the best travelling currency you can have — everyone loves us. We are known for the “craic” and pride ourselves on being great banter. Because we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we are happy to makes fools of ourselves for the sake of the entertainment of others and are often the life and soul of the party. The booze also helps.

8. You will NOT find us in the Irish bar.

Word to the wise: Irish bars abroad are absolutely nothing like Irish bars at home. The only thing that is the same is that they both sell alcohol. Therefore, the Irish only go to the Irish bar if someone they know from back home runs it (very likely) or if every other watering hole is closed.

9. All of our summer clothes will be brand-spankin’ new.

Summer clothes are sold for a grand total of about two weeks in Ireland, so we stock up before any impending vacation. Expect to see labels adorning the soles of the purpose-bought flip-flops, the stiff collars of first-use Aertex shirts standing to attention and the fold-marks to still be visible on the shorts and skirts of the sweating Irishmen and women desperately trying to fit in.

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