10 Things We Really Enjoy About Being Irish

It's a St Patrick's Day special, where we tell you all the reasons we're really proud to be Irish, shamrocks an' all!

1. Sinéad O’Connor

No other country can boast an international superstar who even remotely compares (ahem) to our Sinéad. The woman’s an ordained priest who frequently uses promotional appearances on Irish television to rail against the establishment and wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus begging her to, y’know, stop.

Michael Fassbender

2. Michael Fassbender

This one needs very little explanation, but if you haven’t seen Shame, do it now – and if you ever wondered what a movie would be like if an Irish man refused to Americanise his accent, watch X Men: Days of Future Past.

3. Father Ted

There is no office conversation that cannot be improved by the addition of a Father Ted quote – and there is not a single episode of Father Ted that isn’t rip-roaringly hilarious. It’s the patriotic humour that even foreigners get (something that so many TV shows fail to achieve – just try watching The Inbetweeners with an American and you’ll see what we mean).

4. Graham Norton

Not just because of his Father Ted role, as Fr Noel Furlong (but it makes a handy segue, don’t you think) but because The Graham Norton Show is the one thing that makes Friday nights in watching the telly enjoyable. Well, that and Just-Eat.ie.  Seriously though – we love his show almost as much as we love his attempts to support the Brits when he does the BBC commentary for Eurovision. Don’t worry Graham, we know you’re on our side.


5. Slagging Bono

If you sit down and think about it, Bono has really done nothing wrong. Oh, okay, aside from that whole tax debacle and the fact that we just can not get rid of that stupid U2 album. Really, he seems like an okay guy. Super-charitable, very talented musically, decent enough taste in jackets (perhaps tempered by seriously dodgy taste in shades). And c’mon: we might enjoy hating on U2 when we’re on home soil, but when we’re in the US? U2 are ours. Sure they live up the road. Sure we saw Bono in the pub one day. Yeah, they’re all sound lads. Especially The Edge.

Tayto crisps shop Dublin

Pic credit: UTV Ireland

6. Tayto

We <3 our national crisp. So much so that we’ve now got a Tayto Park and even a Tayto shop selling, er, crisp sandwiches. There’s a cheesy, oniony joy about it all that simply doesn’t translate – and we’re done trying to explain it to people. We’ll just continue putting in care package orders for Tayto while we’re abroad, and we’ll give up trying to convert the foreigners. Who cares if they don’t get it? You can have your Lays and we’ll have our Tayto, TYVM.

Kerrygold butter

Pic credit: The Runcible Spoon

7. Good butter

Kerrygold is so beloved – in Ireland and beyond – that those crazy Americans have now developed a way of drinking it, in the morning, with their coffee. Step up, bulletproof coffee, which we have on good authority tastes incredibly disgusting, but those crazy crossfit types swear by for waking you up and getting the metabolism going. We’ll stick with the old reliable lemon ‘n’ honey thanks. (But still: butter. Mmmmmm.)

Brian O'Driscoll, Amy Huberman and Sadie

8. Bod & Amy (& offspring)

He’s the rugby hero with the pro-marriage-equality stance (good one, Bod) and she’s the surprisingly hilarious actress-turned-author – so it’s no surprise that they’re our #1 Irish couple. If you’ve just returned to Ireland after a long stay in the outback with no wifi or communication with the outside world, all you need to know is: they’re our Kate and Wills. Except funnier, more accessible and with better hair (both of them).

Brendan O'Carroll Mrs Brown's Boys

9. Brendan O’Carroll

He’s the diminutive comedian with the BAFTA-award-winning Irish comedy show and, er, bestselling movie. Who saw that coming?! Seriously though, BOC (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue) gets top marks for hilarity but, beyond that, he’s a seriously charitable dude who’s happy to share his wealth around for worthy causes. Plus, he’s the grand marshall at today’s parade. Break a leg, Bren!

Barry's Tea

Pic credit: Kate Davis Designs

10. Caring – passionately – about tea

There isn’t a household in the country that hasn’t, at one stage or another, borne witness to the great Barrys vs Lyons debate. There are those among us who claim they can tell the difference simply by smelling the dry teabag – and there are others who won’t so much as get within sniffing distance of the “other” tea.

So what do you really enjoy about being Irish? Let us know what we’ve missed, even if it’s just your Nana’s brown bread or the road rage your dad experiences going through the Walkinstown roundabout.