With St Patrick’s Day on the horizon, we at The Urban List HQ have been mulling over Ireland’s, ahem, cultural legacy. There are many things that the Irish aren’t that great at (weather and politics spring to mind…) but, when it comes to these nine, we reckon they’ve nailed it.
The Irish should be decent at this one because, according to trading records, they’ve had the most practice (making, not drinking...but probably drinking too). The Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim, founded in 1608, holds the record for the oldest legally operating whiskey distillery in the world and, if you’ve ever tried the stuff, you’d tend to agree that it’s pretty tasty.
It felt a bit obvious to add potatoes to this list, so we ran with the potato crisp: Tayto, to be exact. Their brand mascot is a giant waving potato-man in a suit and a pork-pie hat and rumour has it that they’re made in a 17th century castle. Obviously.
Potato crisp sandwiches
Australia has the jaffle, but Ireland has the potato crisp sandwich, which is basically a packet of cheese’n’onion crammed between two buttered pieces of white bread. It’s the texture of this that’ll get you—crunchy AND soft, carb AND carb. No wonder Ireland isn’t known for its cuisine.
Fun fact: They film ‘Game of Thrones’ in Ireland, which saves HBO a ton of cash that they would have had to spend building sets as there’s a real medieval fortress around virtually every corner.
Boyzone. Westlife. The Pogues. Alright, so not the Pogues, but the other two groups were okay.
Liam Neeson in Taken 1, 2 and 3
He doesn’t know who you are, he doesn’t know what you want, but he will look for you, he will find you and He. Will. Kill you. If you haven’t seen this action movie series but you love a female lead character who always walks straight into danger, followed by a smattering of random acts of violence, then you’re in for a treat. Liam, we salute you and your epic threats.
There’s a fine line between ‘Irish traditional songs’ and ‘drinking songs’ (so fine, in fact, that it seems the two go hand in hand…), but details aside, the Irish really know how to document a booze bender through the art of song. Our favourite is called ‘Seven Drunken Nights,’ which tells the tale of a lad who gets so blitzed that his wife manages to convince him that a horse is a cow, his boots are flower pots, and another man’s, er, junk is a tin whistle. Crikey.
Folklore: Fairies, Leprechauns, Giants etc.
Giants, witches, fairies, leprechauns and a whole host of other bizarre creatures all feature throughout Irish folklore, which reads like some kind of ‘Lord of the Rings’ meets ‘Gremlins’. Trust us, if you’ve had a nightmare about it, the Irish have a legend based on it.
…actually, strike that one off the list.
Keen to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Melbourne in true Irish style? Check out our round-up of events for some suggestions.
Image credit: IHA