15 Things the Irish Do Best

  1. Tea
    Irish people have a commitment to tea that cannot be described. It’s a love that runs deep that it is only rivalled by our love of potatoes (embrace the stereotype). We make the best tea in the world and don’t believe in more than one kind (except for the Barry’s vs Lyons debate). Irish people will judge your character based on how you make and take your tea – if you don’t drink you are not to be trusted. Tea has always been there for us as a nation, everything and anything can be solved with a good cuppa tae!
Image Via Pinterest
Image Via Pinterest
  1. Traditional Breakfast
    To go with your tea – a hearty Full Irish. Toast, eggs, sausages, rashers, beans (touchy subject), white and black pudding (don’t ask, just eat it), all fried and served with helpings of Irish butter. Extremely unhealthy but extremely satisfying. It’s a guaranteed hangover cure.
  1. Rejecting compliments
    The Irish cannot and will not accept your compliment. We get awkward and embarrassed by you drawing attention us. We know we look great, we appreciate your lovely comment. But we will not acknowledge it out loud.
    *Irish Person B: buys expensive new outfit for a special occasion*
    Person A: ‘I love your outfit, you look fantastic.’
    Person B: ‘Noooo, this thing? Sure it’s year’s old, I found it in the back of the wardrobe. And sure I haven’t even done the hair, I’m surprised they let me into the building at all.’ This is code for thanks very much.
  1. Slang
    For such a tiny country, each county and location has developed it’s own slang for various situations, words and stages of being drunk. Slang can differ strongly depending on if you’re talking to a city dweller or countryman. In some cases you may not even understand it if you are from Ireland yourself so we commend all travellers on attempting to engage in conversation with us! Check out our previous post to become a slang master.
  1. Funerals
    Irish funerals are an occasion. We sure do send off our loved ones in the best way we deem suitable; with a big session down the pub. Funerals are not just for close family, they for everyone who has ever encountered the deceased. Funerals are not just one day, they can be 2 or even 3 days long – often depending on the popularity of that person. Visits to their home, the church, the burial and the few pints and sandwiches down the pub after are known to be the best way to support a grieving family. Funerals are not meant to be sad, they are meant to celebrate the life of the individual, sure isn’t that what they would have wanted?
  2. Pubs
    There is no place in the world quite like an Irish pub (and no Irish Bars abroad do not count). Whether it be a few quiet one’s in local, a proper traditional Irish Music set, the beginning of a long night on the town, there’s a pub for every occasion.
  1. Guinness
    On the topic of pubs, Guinness has been scientifically proven to taste best in the home land. As it doesn’t need to be shipped very far it’s the freshest pint of the black stuff you’re going to find. We even have a dedicated quality control team purely to ensure that our most famous brew is the best it can be.
Photographer: Graham Barclay/Bloomberg News
Photographer: Graham Barclay/Bloomberg News
  1. Music
    Again, often hand in hand with our notorious pub scene is our trad sessions. Enjoyed by all ages regardless of musical preference. A good trad session can instantly change your mood and have you feeling like (and sometimes actually) dancing on tables.
  1. Banter
    Ireland is the self-proclaimed King of Banter (also commonly known as ‘the Craic’). But it’s not hard to see why. Banter is the Irish people’s way of having fun regardless of the situation. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and will always try to see the light in any situation. Banter can sometimes border on offensive, but it is always meant in a lighthearted way!
  1. Sarcasm
    Another Irish-ism that goes hand in hand with Banter that tourists are often puzzled about. It can be very difficult to determine if what an Irish person has said to you is truly meant the way it is said. 9 times out of 10 they are being Sarcastic and actually mean the complete opposite of what was said.

Do you fancy going to the gym at lunch time?’

‘Ah I do, yeah’

This means no. Makes perfect sense.

  1. Postmen

Irish postmen (that’s mailmen to some) are not like any other in the world. They are often tasked with delivering letters and packages with minimal information on them. And they almost always succeed. In rural Ireland a lot of the time the postman will know all the neighbours so not much investigating needs to be done. Often postmen have been known to correctly deliver mail with just an area and name, such as the below.

Source: Albert Doherty
Source: Albert Doherty
  1. Weather forecast reports

Irish weather is at best unpredictable. So much so, some would go as far as saying there is no need for us to have a weather forecast. As even the forecasters, cannot predict how it’ll go. But they make a wonderful effort none the less. Some of Ireland’s most watched YouTube clips are now notorious weather reports.

  1. Talking (mostly about the weather)

The Irish could talk their way out of anything if given the chance. Any opportunity to have a chat or a moan and there’s no stopping us. A particular favourite topic of Irish conversation is the weather. In awkward situations where small talk is required, you can never go wrong with mentioning the current conditions, 30 minutes of conversation will flow smoothly from there.  

  1. Mammies
    The boss, the negotiator, the dictator, the loveliest woman on earth. No one comes close in comparison to Irish mammy. She will motivate you, scare you and tease you like no other, all whilst loving you dearly.
Source: RTE
Source: RTE
  1. Hospitality
    There is a reason our hospitality industry is so successfully, and that comes down to the people. Irish friendliness is renowned around the world and that comes down to the Irish down to earth personality. We see everyone as a potential friend and therefore will treat you as one. Come on in, have a cuppa tea. 

Blog Post by Martha Fallon, Work in Ireland Program Coordinator 


Lifetime Lessons and Lifelong Friends

“It’s been almost 6 months now that I’ve been living in Dublin as part of the Work in Ireland program. Time sure does fly by. So far, it has definitely had its ups and downs, but I always remind myself in the tougher times that this experience is once in a lifetime and there are so many life lessons I am learning while over here. Not to mention, the craic in Dublin is great!!


After first getting here, I have to admit I was very overwhelmed, especially with finding housing and a job – the main priorities. I had a friend who was coming over to work in Ireland at the same time as me, so we decided to be roommates and at first, we were getting discouraged about finding an apartment. However, after sending plenty of emails on rent.ie and daft.ie, we finally found a suitable apartment in a suburb north of Dublin city centre. We have a nice little set up with a balcony and a lovely kitchen. Rent is a bit pricey, but we expected that when coming to live in the capital of Ireland.

As far as finding a job, it definitely was not the easiest task at first. I reached out to a few different recruitment agencies and spent the first week or two in the USIT office polishing up my CV and sending it off to employers. It would be discouraging after not hearing back or after getting rejected, but I tried to be positive and remember it would all work out one way or another.

I found an agency and they called me the day after receiving my CV. I had a good feeling about it and went in to interview the next day. I met with the manager there who told me that he would do his best to get me work as soon as possible. Well, turns out that he had work for me the very next day. He rang me in the morning to come in to the Bank to help out on the switchboard for the day. This assignment turned into an essentially full-time temporary role, and I have since got hired full-time through the Bank as a Business Services Assistant where I work in the reception department. I think my advice to anyone in this program would be to take advantage of agencies because they can be very helpful with finding work quickly for you, at least to start with when you first arrive.

As far as everything else, my experience has been great getting to travel around Ireland a bit as well as some of Europe. So far, I’ve been to Waterford, Belfast, and the Netherlands, and I have a few trips planned coming up including Barcelona, which I’m really looking forward to!


Overall, Dublin is a lovely place to live with plenty to do and with friendly people all around. I really enjoy exploring all of the coastal villages along Dublin Bay as there are so extremely beautiful towns just waiting to be explored. I feel very content now that I am all settled and in my work routine. Surely there are some things I wish I did differently in the beginning, but life is about learning from your mistakes and moving on.

Cheers to an amazing city and cheers to the second half of my adventure on this side of the pond!”


Blog Post & Photography by Valerie Stearns, a current Work in Ireland Participant.