Irish Culture

Do's and Don'ts

Do’s

  • 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.

 

Don’ts

  • 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.
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