Top 10 social taboos of Ireland

Every country has its own list of topics they would rather not talk about, and Ireland is no exception. Here are our top ten social taboos of Ireland.

It’s no surprise that the Irish like to talk, we call it the ‘gift of the gab’, and we are more than happy to have a natter with anyone who will listen. Our conversations can be from anything to do with the weather, to what’s on the telly-box tonight, to holiday plans, or just plain old chit chat about our lives. There are, however, some things we would rather not talk about, what we call social taboos in Ireland.

Perhaps you are not familiar with some of these or have never noticed them before, but once you read through our top ten social taboos of Ireland list, you will know to choose your topics wisely. No one wants that elephant in the room, not even the Irish.

10. Getting rowdy – calm yourself down

Don't be getting rowdy, us Irish can't stand it when people go too far with alcoohl.

Everyone heads out to have a good time, to have the craic, and to let loose after a hectic week. Of course, having a few scoops is common in Ireland. Sure, we are the master drinkers, but we are also masters at handling our alcohol.

It goes without saying that we are not too keen on being drunken, obnoxious messes, but prefer to be social drinkers with mad dancing skills.

9. Money – just don’t bring it up

Money is another topic best avoided when talking with people in Ireland.

It’s not a common topic when in a conversation with friends, or even friends of friends, to talk about money. You would never bring up the subject of how much you earn, when out and about. It’s just awkward and may offend some people. We just leave it out!

8. Referencing colonialism – it’s a touchy subject

Colonialism is a touchy subject and best be avoided in Irish conversation.

Judging by our vast history, many people have strong opinions about our colonial background. This is something you don’t just bring up in a random conversation. You don’t want to make the atmosphere sour.

7. Roles of men and women – you’re looking an argument

The roles of men and women are something you shouldn't bring up, it'll only cause an argument.

When it comes to the roles of the sexes, or men’s and women’s rights, for instance, the Irish would rather not discuss this openly. Similar to many of our previous topics listed, there could be mixed opinions or experiences, so best not to go there.

6. Bedroom talk – keep it PG, folks

As far as social taboos of Ireland go, bedroom talk is something you must avoid.

No one wants to be sat around the table listening to the ins and outs of what you got up to last night, or how far you’ve gone in the relationship. Sure, this is a hot topic, but we tend not to go too much into detail. We’re just not that kind of nation. Let’s keep it PG shall we?

5. The Great Famine – a dark history better kept quiet

Try to avoid the Great Famine, another of the social taboos of Ireland that had better be avoided.

Sure, everyone knows about the famine and the mass emigration from Ireland in the 1800s, but there are mixed views on the Great Famine, many of which can be controversial, so we just leave that to the history books. No one wants to join a table where there’s a famine debate going on, that’s just no craic, is it?

4. Your problems – we each have our own

Talking about your problems is another of our worst social taboos of Ireland.

There’s nothing more awkward than discussing your issues openly with a group of people, especially if you some know them all too well. Sure enough, speaking to your close friends in private is pivotal to life, but we just know our audience before we bring this up. No one wants to dampen the mood.

3. Insensitive jokes – let’s all be friends

Insensitive jokes are never good, yet another of the top social taboos of Ireland.

We can all probably recall a time when everything was going well and we were all having the craic. Next thing someone in the group tells an insensitive joke of some sort. It’s always awkward. We tend to stick to our go-to ‘lighten the mood’ jokes. We don’t want to offend people now do we? Another of our top social taboos of Ireland best to be avoided.

2. Religion – we’re all just trying to be friends

Another of the social taboos of Ireland is talking about religion, it's a touchy subject.

Most people are familiar with the Troubles of Ireland, most of which were based around the two religions, Protestants (located mainly in the north) and Catholics (located mostly in the south).

The Irish have very strong opinions when it comes to our history, and it’s best to leave the topic of religion to one side when in a conversation with an Irishman. You never know what someone’s experiences might be.

1. Politics – avoid this at all cost

Talking about politics is another of the top social taboos of Ireland.

And in at number one, we have politics of course! They have been many a conversation ruined because of a strong political opinion. There’s always a time and a place!

So there you have it, our list of the top ten social taboos of Ireland. The Irish may have a few off-limits subjects, but there are a million things we do love to talk about. Don’t ever think there will be awkward silences when talking to Irish folk. We are not just masters at drinking, we’re masters at talking too.

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Jade Poleon is a free spirit with a love for the world and her homeland, Ireland. Jade started travelling in 2007 and since then has travelled to every continent and over 90 countries, qualified as a yoga teacher in India, hiked the Himalayas, walked 900km across Spain, and is about to embark on a trip through Portugal in her camper van. Travel is her number-one passion, and she has a soft spot for hiking, food, and jaw-dropping scenery, all of which can be found right here on our stunning Emerald Isle.