To the outside world, us Irish are a crazy bunch and, for the most part, people absolutely love us for it.
As Irish travel bloggers who get around quite a bit, we find that it can be a lot of fun telling people where we’re from as it’s almost always met with the same reactions.
We’ve met people from all corners of the globe on our travels over the past few years and, as you can imagine, we’ve said, “We’re from Ireland” more times than we can remember.
That said; I’m going to do my best to reveal the most common responses we get when we tell people from other countries that we’re Irish.
Here it goes…
5 Responses an Irish Person gets when they say they’re Irish
Response #1: “You’re from Ireland? Cool. So, you’re English?”
We’ve heard this so many times, most recently in a shop in Albania.
I just want to recite every single detail of the Easter Rising while waving an Irish flag over my head when I hear this.
To those that think Irish people are the same as English people, know that we’re not. We’re our own nation and we fought hard for it. End of.
Response #2: “You’re Irish travel bloggers? So you guys like Guinness, right?”
To much of the outside world, us Irish are nothing but Guinness drinkers who like to lounge about on high stools in thatched pubs all day.
While most of us like to have (a good) tipple of the black stuff from time to time, not everyone in Ireland drinks Guinness and whiskey like it’s water from the tap.
And, on the subject of alcohol, while it’s not uncommon, most of us don’t spend our days sitting in the one pub in front of an open fire conversing with the bar man and our neighbours about times gone by.
We recently met a guy in Bulgaria who almost fainted when Carlo told him that he didn’t like Guinness.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, he almost went into Anaphylactic shock when Carlo said that he much prefers to drink a cool pint of Budweiser.
Was too funny!
Response #3: “You’re from Ireland? Amazing. My ancestors are Irish so I am too!”
It has to be said that this is obviously most common with Americans!
People love to associate themselves with the Emerald Isle, and many like to dig and dig through their family tree until they find that little branch that connects them to it.
It’s amusing when you hear someone say something like, “John Murphy, my grandfather’s great grandfather, was from somewhere in Kerry and we plan to visit our relatives there some day.”
I don’t know the name of my grandfather’s father so kudos to those that know where their father’s, great grandfather’s, brother’s, cousin’s, mother came from.
Ireland is only a small country but it packs a big punch, and it’s so nice that people want to be connected to our small plot of land in some way.
Response #4: “You’re Irish? You must sing a song, do a dance or at least tell us a story!”
It’s no secret that we’re known for our unique traditional Irish music, the River Dance and the art of the seanchaí (or storytelling).
To be known for such talents is very lovely, but I’m sorry to break the news that every Irish person isn’t blessed with feet like Michael Flatly, the art of story telling and a voice that compares with that of Luke Kelly.
Unfortunately, I fall into this bracket.
Some are gifted with these Irish traits, but most of us are talentless when it comes to folk singing, Irish dancing and reciting age old stories about lost land, lost love and faded hopes.
We recently sat around a campfire in Rajasthan, India and it was this misconception that caused me to feel completely useless.
I told our tour group (which consisted of a mix of six other nationalities) that I couldn’t sing or dance or even tell a story. My refusal to even try received grunts of disbelief with some people even sounding annoyed.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so talentless than I did at that moment. Little did they know that I was doing them a favour by not attempting to sing, dance or tell a story!
Response #5: “You’re Irish? You guys are the friendliest people on earth.”
It’s not entirely true.
Well, for the most part, we’re a friendly bunch and, as the saying goes, most would happily give away the shirt off their back to help another out.
I do love Irish people because most are kind and welcoming but, when it comes down to it, we’re just like all other nationalities in the sense that a few nettles will always sprout among the roses.
We’ve been to places like Thailand, Bolivia and Albania where many locals were genuinely friendly and showed us kindness that you likely wouldn’t experience if you were looking for directions outside Connolly Station in Dublin’s city centre.
In addition to the above, we’ve had responses like;
“You guys are Irish? You still have leprechauns in Ireland, right?” (To be fair, the guy was drunk.)
“You’re from Ireland? Do you guys have an airport there?” (Yes, really!)
“From Ireland? Where the hell is that?!” (We’ve only got this once but that doesn’t make it any less painful.)
With many more months of travel planned and countless “I’m from Ireland” conversations on the horizon, I can’t wait to hear some old and new stereotypical views of the Irish and our little country from around the world.
You can find excellent travel articles on Ireland Before You Die if you’d like to read some more!