A Hibernophile (sometimes also called an ‘Eireophile’) is someone with a strong love for Ireland and Irish culture. Here are five signs you might be one.
Individuals worldwide are affected by Hibernophilia, and we at Ireland Before You Die felt the need to compile a list of the top five most severe symptoms of this growing condition for your reference. If you or somebody you love displays one or more of these signs, they are quite possibly a Hibernophile.
A plane ride straight to the Emerald Isle and a pint of real Guinness are the only things that have been proven to provide temporary relief from the symptoms of Hibernophilia (disclaimer – there has been anecdotal evidence of this treatment in fact exacerbating the condition in the long-term).
Below are the top five signs you might be a Hibernophile – read carefully.
5. St. Patrick’s Day is your favourite holiday
When 17th March rolls round every year, you’re ready with your green outfit. Maybe you even book time off work and strategically position yourself in the nearest Irish bar.
You know that the colloquially correct shortened name for festivities is ‘Paddy’s Day’, and you’re quick to correct any rogue references to Patty. Your friends know not to ask you to do anything on this day, the most sacred of holidays – your plans have been made months in advance.
4. You have an Irish music playlist
And no, we’re not just talking about the odd U2 song – you’re into the heavy stuff. Everybody looks forward to long car rides with you because they’re bound to be introduced to new musical wonders of the Irish variety – although sometimes your enthusiastic sing-a-long style can be slightly frightening.
The Dubliners, Kíla, Tommy Furey…if any of these names feature on your most played list, we’re sorry to tell you that you are almost certainly a raging Hibernophile. If you catch yourself involuntarily shouting ‘yeowww!’ during a particularly lively trad track, it might even be incurable.
3. You use an Irish translation of your name on socials
Something about your English name didn’t sit right with your soul, so you felt the need to research an Irish translation. Furthermore, you felt the strong pull to go public with it. So from that day forward, your Facebook page was no longer under the name of Janet Walsh – nope, Sinéad Ní Breathnach was proudly displayed beside a smiling picture of yourself in a shamrock border.
You know your friends might find the spelling confusing, but you don’t care. This type of disregard for the social norms of pronunciation is something that Irish people have suffered from for years, and it is one of the biggest red flags for a Hibernophile.
2. You have an Irish tattoo
Maybe it’s a tricolour, a Celtic symbol, or even some Gaelic script of an old seanfhocal that really speaks to you. Whatever it is, the fact of the matter is that you saw fit to permanently etch your body with a symbol of Ireland.
Furthermore, you went through a pretty painful experience in order to do so. This type of reckless love for the home of your ancestors is highly concerning, and is a near definite sign that you are, in fact, a fully-blown Hibernophile.
1. You can hold a basic conversation with an Irish person – as Gaeilge
This one is particularly concerning, considering that many born and bred Irish people have not yet developed this capability despite fourteen years of compulsory language lessons.
If you know that to greet someone in the Irish language you wish that God would be with them (Dia duit) and to return that greeting you step it up a notch and wish that both God and Mary would be with your greeter (Dia is Muire duit), then chances are you have it bad.
If you know all the words to the national anthem in the native language, we’re sorry to say that there is absolutely no hope for you. With that said, we can count on one hand the number of Hibernophiles we have come across who have the condition this severely – but be wary of the earlier signs above, as it could very well develop into something as deep-rooted as this if left unchecked.
So there you have them, folks: the top five signs you might be a Hibernophile. We did not write this article to scare-monger—merely to inform. The incidence of Hibernophilia worldwide is growing at an exponential rate, and there is no known cure. But hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!