“You can take the girl out of Éire but you can’t take the Éire out of the girl”
So I learned after leaving my beautiful Emerald Isle behind me for a week and whizzed away for my first ever sun holiday, where I came to some firm conclusions about we Irishpeople as a nation…
As patriotic as we are all year round, there’s nothing that brings out our inner Irishness quite as much as a trip thar lear, as countless of us Irish natives have re-discovered this Summer.
Despite the fact that we spend all year counting down the days until spreading our wings and flying away to not-so-much-greener-but-definitely-sunnier pastures, it would seem the further away we get from home, the more it catches up with us…
After the initial wild excitement of stepping off the plane and being greeted by a mysterious yellow object in the sky (not to mention the rush of adrenaline we get in knowing that we’ve travelled halfway across the world and left the raincoat at home), few of us could anticipate ever wanting for much more.
Give us just a few days though, and the cracks of Irishness will start to appear, and we find ourselves slipping further and further into the stereotypes we never thought we’d become.
We begin to pine for the little things, our home comforts, if you will. These pinings begin simply enough, with just a few outbreaks of “Jays’ I’d love a…“
Daecent Cupán Tae, mar shampla.
For the humble tea-drinker, being taken abroad is always a little stressful. Now obviously it’s not too bad to begin with (seeing as we stashed that box of Barry’s in the suitcase). But there’s only so much of the dodgy bainne we can take before we’re left craving the real stuff. Because everyone who’s anyone knows, UHT is just shite.
Second to the cupán tae, the craving for the potato is very real indeed. To be fair though, it’s in our nature. Being away from the spud invokes an ancestral fear in all of us that we’d rather live without. No more famine for us thank you – we don’t want no Trevelyn’s corn.
After a hard night of living up to the thirsty trait of our national stereotype, a wicked hangover abroad is sure to have us longing for the most precious of Irish delicacies…
The modest, but marvellous chicken fillet roll.
The mouth-watering thought of which is enough to send us into a tummy-rumbling daydream, with a musical soundtrack of “butter or mayo…plain or spicy…cut in half…”.
We’re a gas bunch really, there’s no denying it.
We’re just not built for the heat! As is clearly evident when you spot Poor Pale Paddy scorching himself by the pool in nothing but his GAA shorts…
And when you hear him the next day burnt red raw and whinging, “Jays’ I’d love a pot of Sudocream…”
For the most part the madness stops there, and we Irish learn to adapt to our surroundings; we learn to live without the dairy, we get our fill of spud from an obliging restaurant somewhere along the way and we ship Poor Pale Paddy off to the Pharmacy for some Aloe Vera and factor 50+.
However, there’s always one…
One who cracks, and finds themselves one step away from full blown leprechaun.
They spend their days singing Sinne Finne Fáil and their nights singing Christy Moore, the sound of a church bell reminds them of the Angelus and sends them into a tear-stricken pang of longing for the Six-One News and in extreme scenarios they have even been known to have full blown hallucinations – chasing Ryan Tubridy lookalikes down back alleys and begging for autographs etc.
Once stuck with this extreme patriotism, there’s no going back, there is no cure.
All that’s left to do is embrace it! Devote your time to spreading the native Irish language among the natives (starting with the crucial Ciúnas Bóthar Cailín Bainne of course) and set up camp in the nearest Irish Pub and blare Beidh Aonach Amárach from dawn till dusk.
Because let’s face it, you can travel the world and back, but níl aon tíntéan mar do thíntéan féin…