Author K K Weakley
 

What is it to be Irish?

More Importantly what is it to be Wexfordian?

What it is to be Irish.
If like me, the people of Ireland love to travel the globe. To meet exciting new people and leave a lasting memory for those we leave behind, and in most cases never to see again, but we love coming home, too – to our native cities, countryside and our mothers cooking. Because let's face facts, there is no cooking better than your mother's cooking, especially when it concerns an Irish mammy who knows just how you like your stew.

We love spending time with our families, enjoying a gossip with our friends, but mostly having a chat with anyone who'll listen to us. The fact the Titanic set out on her first ocean venture from Belfast (as unfortunate as her ending was) the fact is, she was grand when she left Ireland, now that is something you must never forget.

To be Irish can mean a great many things to the outside world.

1. We can Drink

2. We have castles

3. Only two religions matter- Catholic and Protestant

4. Oh yeah...Did I mention we can drink?

Being Irish to an Irish person means.

1. Being proud to say it aloud no matter where you live in the World that you are Irish.

2. We love the Hurling, Rugby.

3. We cringe at the mention of the Banshee.

4. The wooden spoon is our childhood nemesis.

5. We can "Legally" drink at 18.

6. Seeing cattle on the road side is normal.

7. We grew up playing on the grounds of castles and ruins where in place of swords, planks of wood won our battles.

8. Nickey Rackard is a hero of Wexford. - Hurling genius.

9. Loftus Hall seen the Devil play poker - Hence, poker is the Devil's Game.

10.Darby O' Gill and the Little People is the truth, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

But, what does it really mean to be Irish, more importantly, what does it mean to be from Wexford - Where Johnstown Castle still draws gasps from the mouths of visitors from all over the world. Where Knights Templar ruins litter the roadsides of green, while the Round Tower of Ferrycarrig shows itself in all it's wonder no matter the weather.

The fact is Ireland's first people arrived 10,500BC. It has survived through the Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Mesolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and while Europe was invaded by Roman's, Ireland remained as one until the age of Christianity. This is where many think of St. Patrick, which wouldn't be 100% wrong, but for the South of Ireland, Wexford and the other Counties, it was likely that Palladius' had a hand at breaking the traditions of the "Barbaric Pagan People" even before St. Patrick made his way down from County Armagh in 432. The Viking Raids from 795-836 which brought with them historical tales unlike any other, and great town walls still standing today. The Easter Rising, the Battle of Clontarf, the Irish Constitution. There is so much but that is enough of that heavy history stuff, as interesting as it is.

Let me tell you what it means to be Irish - It means you grew up respecting your elders. You said yes please and no thank you, and you never called an older woman or man by his/her first name - It was Mr. and Mrs unless you had a death wish by the time you got inside your house had your parents heard you assuming you could be on first name basis. Church on Sunday's hail or shine, your First Holy Communion was your first ever wedding dress and by God you had only ever wear one more in your lifetime (I guess I'm screwed - two times a charm - or something like that) Lent meant giving up something you loved (no excuses), when the All Ireland Hurling was taking place you DID NOT miss the excitement, you had every Holy Day off School so you loved them for that reason alone, and most importantly - YOU NEVER ACTED THE MAGGOT IN CHURCH. The echo of a child being slapped for such behaviour never failed to amuse the smarter kids sitting beside their father's (their mothers having used the excuse of having to make the Sunday Dinner to escape the hours of trying to look interested and not fall asleep by the time the first hour had come and gone - or maybe that was just mine :) ) The beach is the place to be on any day over 19 degree Celsius, the rest of the time you are recovering for the sunburn you acquired while assuming baby oil was the way to get that fabulous tan, now covered with fake tan so you can go out on the town without looking like an eegit.

Always remember - An Irish woman is always cold even though she has lived in Ireland her whole life, the Immersion Heater could blow up the house if left on, and tea cures anything.

Irish Slang words that you may come across on your travels throughout Ireland.

Yoke - object or person. - "You're some yoke."

Cat - A way to say something is bad - "That's cat!"

Shift - French Kiss - "Will ye shift that fella?"

Manky - Disgusting/Vile - "Lort Jasus, that was manky."

Jasus - Jesus

Gimp - Fool/Idiot - "You're some gimp."

Gobshite - Someone who gets on your nerves - "Shut up ye gobshite."

Knackered - Tired - "Sure I'm knackered."

Phrases

Da head on ye. - You look like a fool

The Guards wouldn't ask me that. - You're asking a lot of quesitons

I didn't do nutin. - I didn't do anything.

Sup san? - How are you doing? Usually between male friends.

The smell of rag of ye. - Someone who is disgusted by an outcome.

The cup of tay will crown ye. - A cup of tea will do you the world of good.


 

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