Saturday 18 November 2017

Ireland would be the best country in the world, if…

Father Ted cast
Father Ted cast
Members of the public brave the bad weather in Dublin city centre
Flu season is continuing
Bono has welcomed the Irish vote for gay marriage
Pat Kenny plays a tin whistle at the launch of Mary Bergin's tutorial in Dublin Castle's Coach House
Dublin buses
Portmarnock Beach
Ryan Tubridy
Linda Martin. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

We altered a few things, basically. Yep, we’ve been thinking of all the past-times, language barriers, dietary ‘requirements’ and personality traits that make Ireland the way it is.

 The message is simple – we need to make some changes. Big changes, even, if we are to be crowned ‘The Best Little Country That Could’. So, let’s get the heads down and start working, shall we? You know it’s true. Ireland would, in fact, be the greatest nation in the world, if we didn’t have…


1. Alcohol

They say that God invented whiskey so that the Irish wouldn’t take over the globe. We’re not entirely sure who ‘they’ are, but it’s a valid point, to be sure, to be sure. Everything revolves around ‘a few drinks’, doesn’t it? Let’s be honest, it’s never just ‘a few’.


Think of what we could accomplish without beer, hangovers and collective Sunday night fear in this country (this list would be finished before it even started). Just imagine…

2. First-Class Moans

Fact: The Irish are in the Premier League of complaining. We’re fecking brilliant at giving out, so we are - about everything, mind. TV, politics, food, other people, nothing – the list goes on. I blame the booze.

3. The Word ‘Feck’

It’s a stupid word, so it is.

4. Rain

Members of the public brave the bad weather in Dublin city centre

Begorrah and bejaysus (the lingo is getting out of order), but it’d be a fine country if you could only put a roof over it. Is that hail outside now? Ah, sure it’ll brighten up by tea time. We’ll go for an ice at the beach then, if you’re good.

5. Small Talk

“How are you?” “Yeah, keeping busy.” “Not bad (air gasp), can’t complain.” “Oh, it’s terrible out. They say it’s to get worse tomorrow.” Stop it. Answer questions honestly. Enough about the weather. Life is too short for ‘grand’.

6. Exaggeration

Flu season is continuing

You don’t have the flu. You didn’t just get over a ‘chest infection’. You wouldn’t be on Facebook if you had a ‘migraine’. Stop saying ‘there’s nothing worse than…’. What, so you sneezed twice, and the doctor put you on antibiotics? Jaysus, we’re a dramatic bunch, aren’t we?

7. Worriers

They’re everywhere. Worrying about everything. Worrying about worrying.

8. FoMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Get off Twitter and just do your own thing, yeah? FOMO isn’t real. It shouldn’t exist. Especially not in Ireland.

9. Bono

Bono has welcomed the Irish vote for gay marriage

All we ever do is complain about the guy. Because he’s Bono. Any other country would celebrate the man and his music, but what do we do? Make fun, criticise and forget that U2 are one of the greatest rock bands in the world. Sure, he can be very annoying at times, but name one rock star that isn’t a pain in the ass? Exactly. Good job, Ireland. Also, The Frames. And scruffy, heartbroken singer songwriters. For obvious reasons.

10. The Tin Whistle

AKA, ‘My First Instrument’. Because nothing creates an aversion to musical practice quite like the sound of Mary Had a Little Lamb on the bleedin’ tin whistle.

Pat Kenny plays a tin whistle at the launch of Mary Bergin's tutorial in Dublin Castle's Coach House

11. Begrudgery

We invented it. See Bono.

12. A Crummy Transport System

Okay, so the big-boy trains aren’t too bad (note: we said ‘too bad’), but the buses? Jaysus. They’re making it up as they go along. Don’t get me started on the DART…

Dublin buses

13. Jealousy

See Bono.

14. Sunshine

Portmarnock Beach

We don’t know what to do with it when it arrives. We don’t deserve it, either. Also, beaches. They only remind us of what might have been had Ireland floated closer to the equator. And we tend to leave them in an awful state.

15. Fake Tan

You’re not fooling anyone, guys. Embrace the pale, goddamit! Plus, it doesn’t go well with the rain.

16. Outdoor Music Events

They don’t go well with the rain, either. Who are we kidding, eh? Here’s an idea - start work on the greatest indoor music jamboree in the world. And build proper toilets.

17. Fake accents

There was a time when the Irish accent was deemed ‘musical’. Now, it’s just out of tune.

18. Gaelic Football

Imagine what would happen if more youngsters focused their attention on the soccer ball game, instead of the GAA. Imagine.

19. Dubarry Shoes

For obvious reasons.

20. An Obsession with Ourselves

George Clooney mentions Ireland in an interview and we immediately stick the kettle on. A proper A-lister lands on Ryan Tubridy’s couch, and the first thing he asks about is their connection to the Emerald Isle. Garth Brooks cancels a string of Irish gigs, and we declare Ireland ‘the laughing stock of the world’. Yep, we are the most inward-looking nation on the planet, and it’s embarrassing. Oh, and nobody outside of Ireland cared about the Brooks debacle, y’know.

21. The Late Late Show

Ryan Tubridy

Because it’s too confusing, trying to explain the programme and its history to outsiders.

22. Tracksuits

Fair game at the gym and at home, but out in the real world? Ah, stop. And get yizzer hands out of your trousers, lads.

23. The Catholic Church

Because, at the end of the day, a bunch of lads dressed as wizards still have an alarmingly tight grip on our everyday affairs. 

24. The Dail

See previous point. Remove the ‘wizard’ bit.

25. An Impenetrable Native Language

And don’t give me any of this ‘it’s the way it’s taught’ rubbish. Irish is hard, like. Harder than Chinese.

26. Hipsterdom

Remember when boys used to shave their faces? It’s just too much now. Being cool is, like, so overrated.

27. Eurovision

Linda Martin. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

As in, it’d be great if we stopped trying. Linda Martin could get a real job, then.

28. Tea

File next to ‘alcohol’. We’d get loads more done. Also, biscuits (spoiling dinners everywhere for centuries) and chips (there is such thing as too many potatoes in your diet).

29. Old-Fashioned Showers

We’ve all arrived late to work having forgotten to set the timer on the immersion the night before. Chilly, innit? It’s high time we invested in proper showers that don’t have to be EXPLAINED to guests.

30. St. Patrick’s Day

Aerial shot of O'Connell Street

The ultimate reminder of why we can’t have nice things in Ireland.

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