Twenty things only people who have grown up in an Irish family abroad can relate to
Life & Style

Twenty things only people who have grown up in an Irish family abroad can relate to

GROWING up in an Irish family abroad is like being a member of an exclusive club.

Whether you want to be involved or not, you grow up accepting the quirky ways of daily life.

Within every family there are certain traditions, yet only within an Irish Diaspora family would you find the following...

1. Being forced to learn Irish dancing to see if you are any good at it.

2. Visiting Ireland where everyone you meet seems to have been in your parents' class at school...or your uncle's...or your granny's.


3. Listening to Country and Western music by the likes of Mike Denver and Daniel O'Donnell at full volume on every single car journey.

4. Coming up with any excuse you can think of to have a family get together.

5. Having to take part in as many Irish sports as possible from camogie to hurling...and going to training as often as is physically possible too.

Happy child (girl) helps parents take the crop of potato on a sunny autumn day in a garden. Kid sitting on a big heap of potatoes and folds vegetables to basket.

6. Spuds being the staple part of every meal: champ, boxty, colcannon, cottage pie...the list is endless.

7. Hearing swear words in every sentence.

8. Everyone in town knowing your family's gossip before news has reached you.

9. Sticking to the strict rules of eating dinner at 1pm and tea at 6pm. As Jackie Healy Rae once said about the men and women of Kerry: "...[they] eat their dinner in the middle of the day".

10. When you visit Ireland and feel like the population of cows is greater than the population of people.

11. The excitement of discovering the different surnames for each Centra or Supervalu when you visit family in Ireland.

12. Being given Taytos wherever you go from Cheese and Onion to Salt and Vinegar - that said you've just got to love a pack of Taytos.

13. Being surprised to learn everyone in your family's home town in Ireland has the same hairdresser, doctor and dentist.

14. Feeling like a polar bear when you're forced to swim in the Atlantic Ocean in December to keep the 'Christmas tradition' going.

15. Every year being brought to the London (insert home city here) St Patrick's Day parade whether you like it or not.

16. Every family get together involving an intense card game of Snap.

17. Playing The Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty McColl on repeat every Christmas.

18. Knowing about 20 'Auntie Marys'.

19. Frequently being reminded that your family is 'proud to be Irish'.

And finally...

20. Experiencing a sunny day when visiting Ireland and feeling like you've won the lottery.