Perhaps for good reason, there is no other nation on this planet like the Irish. In no other country is an insult a sign of affection or does one hot weekend constitute a summer.
Being Irish is claiming not to watch the Eurovision but secretly knowing every one of our winning entries. It means quoting Father Ted; calling crisps Taytos; knowing 'no' means 'yes' to a cup of tea; and being part of the
From a rock in the middle of the ocean, we have populated the globe with approximately 70 million O'Sullivans, Murphys and Walshesinfectious laughter that spews from our pubs. It's the buzz of hard-fought All-Ireland hurling matches and the heritage that flows through all our veins from thousands of years of history – remnants of which still exist in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Newgrange and Skellig Michael. But of all our wee quirks, our desire to see the world is possibly our longest lasting legacy. From a rock in the middle of the ocean, we have populated the globe with approximately 70 million O'Sullivans, Murphys and Walshes, not to mention the roughly one million Irish-born people who are currently living abroad.
Of course, we don't go traipsing around the world without returning the favour – apart from the black stuff and a certain pint-sized, sunglasses-wearing rockstar, we are renowned for our hospitality and love having people visit. It's no wonder then that in Irish, welcome, céad míle fáilte, translates as “a hundred thousand welcomes.” And as it turns out, this grandiose greeting is an example of another Irish trait – our inclination towards exaggeration. This ability to think big most likely helped Ireland's creative folk churn out so many world-famous texts, paintings and inventions, and made us dab hands at telling a good yarn down the pub. In fact, it probably makes us alright hosts, too.
Well, that, and our really, really big welcome mat. (We're not messing, it's massive.)