1. Having the craic
We do know how to enjoy ourselves. You have to when you’re from a rainy island off the west coast of Europe. Either that or we’d all have killed ourselves centuries ago. The craic is a great defense against boredom, rain and oppression, so we’re always able to find fun in pretty much every situation, or at least make a joke about it. We’re the people you want to have around if the boat is sinking. At least you’ll die laughing.
2. Speaking English with an Irish accent
Frequently voted the sexiest accent in the world, we do have a fine auld brogue. I think it’s thanks to dreamboats like Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender, but who cares, we speak English with a foxier accent than the English themselves, soooooo, self-five.
3. Drinking you under the table
An obvious skill, but we do do this better than anyone else, so much so that we are competitive about it. “Ahhh sure I’d drink you under the table!” is a commonly heard gloat from one seasoned drinker to an assumed weakling who lacks in the stamina department. We can never be outdrunk, and are equally adept at necking back pints or skulling shots. Just try us. You and your hangover will be sorry you did.
Now I know nothing about rugby, but I know we’re good at it. Ok fine, our rugby players may not be the athletic beasts from New Zealand that are born doing the Haka and holding a rugby ball in the womb, but we can give them a good run for their money, at least for Europeans. Brian O’Driscoll has scored the most tries in the Six Nations. And yeah, he’s Irish.
5. Irish dancing
Fair enough, we might be better at this than everyone else because no one else does it, but you’ve seen Riverdance, right? You’ve heard about Michael Flatley, a.k.a. Lord of the Dance? Our feet fly and our skirts soar and it’s damn good entertainment. Over 25 million people worldwide have seen Riverdance, and Wikipedia says it’s “one of the most successful dance productions in the world”. And Wikipedia never lies, amirite?
6. Taking the piss
Taking the piss, or lightheartedly making fun of someone, is something uniquely Irish and often something that people don’t get. Americans are usually unnerved by the Irish sense of humour, smiling uneasily and saying “Ehh, I don’t know if you’re joking or actually calling me an idiot…”. Rest assured, we are joking, and it should be taking as meaning we like you. But between Irish people, it’s used as a leveler to make sure that no one is any cockier than they should be. We’re supremely talented at taking people down a peg or two.
7. Leaving Ireland
I’m not quite sure if this is an ability, but we definitely excel at getting the hell out of our own country. We have been leaving Ireland ever since we ran out of potatoes during the famine, so emigration is part of our culture. Pretty much anywhere you go outside Ireland you will find an Irish person. Just look for the pub. It’s definitely Irish.
8. Being saintly and scholarly
“Ireland: The Land of Saints and Scholars”. This is true, it is. We have more religious icons and world renowned writers and poets than lots of other nations, and we’re smug as fuck about it. St. Patrick is without doubt the world’s most popular saint, and we even have a tax exemption for artists. How d’ya like them apples?
9. Winning the Eurovision
A somewhat cringeworthy claim to fame, but hey, we’ll take what we can get. Ireland has won the Eurovision the most times (7), with a particularly lucky spate in the 90s, before entering Dustin the Turkey, a move which heralded the eventual demise of our reputation at the song contest. It was past its best by then anyway…
And one thing we suck at…
The Irish are notoriously bad tanners. Our pasty skin does not fare well in the sun, and we’re so bloody happy to see some that we rush out, no suncream, leaving our virgin flesh exposed to the elements. We turn a crispy red underneath the glowing orb and you can spot us a mile away on holidays. So I suppose we’re not perfect after all.
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