Irish Culture

Do's and Don'ts


  • Try to be receptive to humour as the Irish appreciate good banter, and joking is a great way of establishing rapport.
  • Engage in conversation topics about the arts in Ireland (e.g. literature and music), sport, one's place of origin and family.
  • Be aware of pub etiquette. Try to observe others when in doubt about how you should behave.
  • If someone ‘slags’ you (teases or jokingly insults), try to reply with good humour and show you are not disconcerted by it. Humour is a common communicative tool in Ireland and slagging is usually not ill-intended.
  • The topic of Northern Ireland and the role of the UK in Irish politics is not necessarily taboo. However, do approach this conversation topic with a high degree of sensitivity and willingness to listen to your counterpart.


Do not’s

  • Do not refer to those from the Republic of Ireland as ‘British’. Be mindful that many in Northern Ireland will be offended if referred to as ‘Irish’.
  • Similarly, do not refer to Ireland as the United Kingdom and vice versa. These are two distinct countries with differing cultures.
  • Avoid stereotyping your Irish counterpart. Referring to stereotypes or clichés will not be well received, particularly stereotypes relating to alcohol and drunkenness.
  • Try not to dominate a conversation, be aggressive or overly direct. This can be interpreted as being pretentious and impolite.
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

  • Population
    [2016 census]
  • Languages
    English [official]
    Gaelic [official] (39.8%)
    [2016 census]
  • Religions
    Catholic Christianity (78.3%)
    No Religion (9.8%)
    Church of Ireland (2.7%)
    Other Christianity (2.6%)
    Islam (1.3%)
    Other (1.7%)
    [2016 census]
  • Ethnicities
    White Irish (82.2%)
    Other White (9.5%)
    Asian (2.1%)
    Black (1.3%)
    Other (1.5%)
    Irish Travellers (0.7%)
    Not Stated (2.6 %)
    [2016 census]
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with Irish Ancestry
    2,388,058 [2016 census]
Irish in Australia
  • Population
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Ireland.
  • Average Age
  • Gender
    Male (53.8%)
    Female (46.2%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (75.4%)
    No Religion (11.4%)
    Anglican Christianity (3.8%)
    Other (6.6%)
  • Ancestry
    Irish (89.9%)
    English (4.2%)
    Australian (1.5%)
    Other (3.3%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    English (95.1%)
    Irish (2.3%)
    Gaelic (0.5%)
    Other (1.2%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 83.6% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (32.6%)
    Victoria (21.7%)
    Western Australia (21.2%)
    Queensland (16.2%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (58.4%)
    2001-2006 (10.5%)
    2007-2011 (27%)
Country Flag Country Ireland