10 things you should never do in an Irish pub

Ah, the Irish pub, where many memories are made and stories told. The Irish pub has always played a huge part in Irish culture.

The Irish pub is an institution, many of us have fond memories of it, from being a child with Taytos and a bottle of coke to an adult ordering our first ever pint. The Irish pub is a mecca for both young and old looking to socialise, enjoy a drink, and just have the craic.

The Irish pub is like the Irish people, inviting, but there are, however, a set of unwritten rules that all should abide by if they want to fit in and have a good time.

In this article, we will list ten things you should never do in an Irish pub.

10. Discuss politics – it can get heated

Steer clear of politics when in an Irish pub, it can be divisive and raise arguments, one of our top tips for things you should never do in an Irish pub.

The Irish pub is a place to relax and have fun with friends. Keep the conversation light-hearted by staying away from serious subjects such as politics. No one wants to get in a debate when they are trying to have fun.

9. Discuss religion – again, things can get tense

Another top thing you should never do in an Irish pub, steer clear of religion, like politics it can raise arguments and tension.

Similar to the previous point, another subject to avoid is religion. Nothing will bring down the mood more than speaking about damnation and the sanctity of our souls.

8. Continue to talk loudly when a trad session starts – it’s meant to be listened to

This one's a no-brainer, but don't talk while a trad session starts, a top tip to remember for things you should never do in an Irish pub.

It’s no lie that the Irish love a session, especially a good trad session. So when one breaks out in the pub (one inevitably will), be sure to pull up a seat, listen, and soak it in. Don’t be the one who keeps talking over it otherwise be prepared for an onslaught of “ssshh”s from the locals.

7. Give out about the man who keeps telling the same story – don’t be that guy

This is all about respect, another top thing you should never do in an Irish pub, don't be mean to the locals.

In every Irish pub, you will be sure to find a local character propping up the barstool. These are a stalwart of the Irish pub and one can be found in almost all of them.

These are local legends, the local regular, they have earned the right to tell the same story to whoever will listen to them, and if you give out about them, you will surely be scorned.

6. Get overly drunk – you’ll only make a fool of yourself

Another one of our top things you should never do in an Irish pub is getting overly drunk, for you'll only make a fool of yourself.

While everyone likes having a good time, there is a line. No one likes the person who doesn’t know when to call it a night, drinks too much, and falls all over the place. Don’t be that person!

5. Disrespect the barman/barmaid – it’s never cool

When trying to place an order, conventional ways of trying to get the barman/barmaid’s attention are through actions such as the raised hand, lifted eyebrow, and the tilted head with a hand on the counter. However, it is never ok to throw money on the bar, wave your arms frantically, or repeatedly shout to be served.

4. Not buy someone who bought you a drink one back – a major faux pas

Not buying someone who bought you a drink one back is a cardinal sin of the pub and one of our top 10 thing to never do in an Irish pub.

If someone is generous enough to buy you a drink, then the accepted social protocol is to buy them one back, even if they say they’re grand.

3. Not let your pint settle – you’ll be labelled an amateur

Not letting your pint settle is a surefire way to be called out, you'll be branded as an amateur.

While everyone can’t wait to taste that first sip of a freshly poured pint of Guinness, it’s important to take a few moments to let the head of the pint settle. If you don’t wait, not only will your pint not taste as good, but you will get many a disapproving look from bar staff and fellow guests alike.

2. Skip out on your round – fair is fair

Fair is fair in Irish pubs and skipping out on your round is something you should never do.

If you are partaking in the Irish tradition of getting rounds, you better make sure to get your round in when it’s your turn. Failure to get your round in, or an attempt to skip your round will earn you a bad reputation that will be hard to shake off.  

1. Buy a bag of crisps and not share them – the unforgivable pub mistake

If you buy bar snacks, crisps or nuts, be sure to share them with everybody else as it's only common courtesy.

If you buy a bag of crisps or nuts and don’t share them with your friends, you will become a social pariah of the Irish pub scene. The unwritten rule is that anyone getting crisps or nuts must put them in the middle of the table for all to enjoy.

On the other hand, if someone has bought some and is sharing with you, you should only take a few. If you take too much, you better be ready to buy the next bag to share!

If you can avoid doing these ten things the next time you visit an Irish pub, you will be sure of a good time!

And lastly, remember: always leave with an Irish goodbye!

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