10 Irish Stereotypes All Irish Really Don’t Want To Hear (Irish That Aren’t True)
Sociologists say that people have made a lot of assumptions about the Irish since the 1800s, when some scientists thought they were more closely related to apes than to other Europeans. Even though those days are (mostly) over, people still have a lot of ideas about the Irish that aren’t true. Here are the ones they really don’t want to hear.
I don’t like Irish food (And Invariably Potato-Based)
There is no doubt that a lot of people in Ireland like potatoes. But that doesn’t mean that they are still the main food group in the country. In fact, Irish food is full of life and variety, and the country is making some of the best and most interesting ingredients in the world right now. For example, Ireland now makes its own buffalo mozzarella.
They drink too much.
The idea that Irish people are always drunk is probably the most common stereotype about them today. This one doesn’t bother every Irish person. In fact, since Ireland had the second highest rate of binge drinking out of 194 countries surveyed in 2015, they don’t have much of a case. But it’s important to remember that 19% of Irish people don’t drink. And the “drunk Irish” stereotype has been used in some pretty hurtful ways in recent years, like in an uncaring New York Times article about Irish students who died in the Berkeley balcony collapse.
Everyone in Ireland has red hair.
Even though there are more natural redheads in Ireland than anywhere else in the world, only 10% of the people there have red hair. There are millions of Irish people with different hair colors, and it’s rare to meet a natural redhead. In fact, they’re so rare that redheads get together once a year in County Cork for a convention.
The Irish are a rough bunch.
It’s not clear where the stereotype of “the Fighting Irish,” which is now the name of the sports teams at Notre Dame University in the US, came from, but it’s still around. Some people think that the Irish are always up for a fight. This might be because they are thought to be always drunk. In fact, Ireland is in the “low risk” category on a map that shows how dangerous each country is in terms of violent crime.
The Irish are very religious people.
Ireland used to be one of the most religiously conservative countries in Europe. But practicing Catholicism has been on a steady decline for decades, especially in the last few years. Between 2008 and 2014, the average number of people who went to Mass every week fell by more than 3% per year. And over the next 15 years, that number is expected to drop by another third in the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin.
The Irish are very nice people.
Even though it’s a positive stereotype, the idea that Irish people are naturally friendly and open is still a generalization, and one that might not be entirely true. Earlier this year, Condé Nast Traveler asked hundreds of thousands of tourists about the friendliest and least friendliest cities. Galway and Dublin, both in Ireland, made it into the “friendly” category. But at 15 and 18, they were a long way behind Reykjavik, Iceland, which was named the friendliest city in Europe.
The Irish tell lies.
Margaret Thatcher, a former British prime minister, is said to have said this one. She reportedly told a Labour minister for Northern Ireland, “You can’t trust the Irish, they’re all liars.” Some people think that the Irish are more likely to make up stories than people from other countries. This is a twist on the idea that they have the “gift for the gab.” It is unfair in situations like an Australian job ad from 2012 that said “No Irish” because the employer thought Irish applicants were more likely to lie about their qualifications.
Irish people do not speak English.
Even though it’s not as common as the other ideas on this list, some people still think that Ireland is a country where everyone speaks Irish. Urban legends say that Irish J-1 visa students who work in US restaurants are praised for how well they speak English. Also, an Australian news anchor is said to have said about the death of British-Irish actor Peter O’Toole in 2013 that they were surprised to hear he was Irish because he spoke English so well.
Ireland is a poor country.
Some parts of Ireland do live up to the romantic idea of being far away and quiet. In fact, this is a big selling point for many people who live there and come to visit. But Irish people get tired of being asked, even jokingly, if they have access to the internet, electricity, or cars out there on the edge of Europe.
Lucky for the Irish
People think that the Irish are luckier than other people because of all the images of leprechauns with pots of gold. Edward T. O’Donnell, a historian and author of 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History, says that the phrase “the luck of the Irish” was used as a sarcastic way to make fun of successful Irish miners in the 19th century. It was meant to make their success seem like nothing more than luck.
Topic: 10 Irish Stereotypes All Irish Really Don’t Want To Hear (Irish That Aren’t True)
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By: Travel Pixy