1. Get an early round in at the pub.
No one likes being the guy to remind another it’s their round! If I buy you a drink, I would like the gesture to be reciprocated without having to drag you to the bar. On the other hand, you may have genuinely forgot, or are waiting for a few lads to sly off and save yourself a few pennies. Avoid any of the controversy by offering to buy a round of drinks at your earliest convenience. As the glasses clink and a large chorus of cheers echoes throughout the pub, you’ll feel like an employed man among dole receivers.
2. Claim you like Irish music other than U2.
Ream off the Irish bands that belt out from your iTunes library without using Bono’s name and you’ll have impressed an entire nation. You can finally clinch that position as “friend” when you mention you were a massive Cranberries fan in the ‘90s, pronounce Thin Lizzy without the “h,” and recite the words to C’est la vie by B*Witched.
3. Don’t inform us what is going on in our country.
We’re well aware of our country’s financial situation and some of our questionable laws. As a general rule, we tend not to talk about the serious stuff at the dinner table; we have a strict diet of taking the piss, gossip, and banter! We already know that two guys can’t legally tie the knot and that a woman doesn’t have the right to have an abortion, but please don’t think our society doesn’t want to change these outdated laws. It’s also worth noting that someone may not share your ill-informed opinion about these touchy subjects, so, at least, have some concrete knowledge rather than starting every sentence with “I heard that in Ireland…”
4. Don’t talk shite.
If there’s a breed of animal on the face of the planet that all Irish people detest, it is the shite talker. There’s the one-uppers who incessantly need the final word on every story (If you’ve been to the moon, they brought a ladder to make sure they went further than you), compulsive liars who are having trouble following their current imaginative concoction, and those with a Wikipedia-like knowledge of any subject liable to come up in conversation! There’s a shite talker in every group, and you’ll know who they are when the troops let out a collective sigh of relief as they head to the pub’s bathroom.
5. Say “The Irish one is my favourite.”
I don’t particularly like One Direction, but I’ll be damned if you say you prefer one of the others over Niall Horan. Yea, Bridesmaids was hilarious, but Chris O’Dowd made that movie! No matter what you’ve seen or heard, the Irish at the table want to hear you say that their stars are the best. We’ve never met these people before but they are carrying the Irish flag overseas so we have to give them props…even if we’ve illegally downloaded all of their albums and movies!
6. Pronounce Irish names properly from the off.
There’s no easier way to colour an Irish person impressed than rhyming off words that are admittedly pretty hard to say for visitors! Place names like “Carrantuohill” and “Donegal” for instance are usually butchered so badly that we can sometimes come across as not knowing these places existed on our island in the first place.
People’s names are another beast entirely. It’s the same old battle you face every time you introduce yourself to another nationality. Just remember to spell your name Fo-net-ic-al-ee and hope for the best!
7. Inform us of all the Irish films you love.
First off Darby O’Gill and Leap Year don’t count! By the way, does that tradition really exist?!
It’s a shame many Irish movies don’t make it beyond our fair shores when it comes to reaching a wider theatrical audience, because we’ve made some amazing titles! My Left Foot, Once, and The Crying Game are just some of the wonderful stories told about life in Ireland. Heck we’d even love to hear all the biased history you took in from watching Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins too!
8. Praise our culture to the point we begin to like it again.
Sometimes we forget what a great place we come from, and it’s great to be reminded of it when talking to someone from another country. Come to think of it, I do enjoy all the green I’m surrounded by in the countryside, and at times I even love our accent too! All that administered praise rubs off, and so while we may pretend like we don’t enjoy hearing someone singing our praises, rest assured that we will never ask you to stop!
9. Be up for the craic.
Anything goes with us Irish, and all most of us want to do is have fun. “Craic” is our own unique version of fun and we hope you can join in too. The biggest rules for being a part of the craic are to take a joke as good as you give and know everything is for harmless fun! Sly digs, having a go at someone unnecessarily, or being in any way confrontational are frowned upon in Irish circles! Bad dancing, and the butchering of classic rock is sadly not! So the next time you’re thinking of staying in on a Saturday night, remind yourself of all the craic you’d have out with your Irish friends, hit the town and create some new memories!