Top 10 misconceptions about Ireland

Want to know the truth about the Emerald Isle, well here are ten misconceptions about Ireland.

Between word of mouth and Irish stereotypes in movies, it’s no wonder that people assume certain things about the country.

There are many misconceptions about Ireland from its culture to its geography, so here are the top ten misconceptions about Ireland.

10. Ireland and Northern Ireland are one country – two countries, one island

Ireland and Northern Ireland are not one country.
Credit: / David Dixon

Of course, most people probably know this is not true, but you’d be surprised by how many people do.

Ireland is a separate country known as the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland is part of the UK.

One is EU, and one is non-EU, which may sound strange, but life is pretty similar in both, and you’ll hardly know you’ve crossed a border.

9. We still live the traditional way – no cars for us

One of the misconceptions about Ireland is that we all live in the traditional way.
Credit: / @MemoryCatcher

Some may travel to Ireland expecting to see everyone wearing caps and riding on horse and cart.

Of course, you’ll probably see this over on the Aran Islands, but gone are those days for the rest of the country. We blame the cringe-worthy movies that show Ireland as this stereotype.

8. We love talking about our country’s history – so, how about that famine?

People think we all love talking about our history.

Ireland has had a dramatic history, including colonialism, civil war, and famine. But as a nation, it’s not something we like to chat about over a pint.

It’s common knowledge that Ireland has a long history, but it can be tense and awkward if you bring up these issues in a social gathering, so we don’t.

7. We’re all very religious – praise the lord

One of the misconceptions about Ireland is that we are all religious.
Credit: / @useristrator3

Okay, sure. As a country, Ireland has been known as being a very religious country in the past, but gone are the days where everyone attended mass every Sunday and nuns and priests ran the schools.

This is still the case for some, of course, but not the country as a whole. Many religions and ethnicities exist in Ireland these days, and it has evolved a lot over the years.

6. We all say ‘top of the mornin’ to ya’ – we’re too cool to say hello

We don't say 'top of the mornin' to ya'.

Suppose you’re hoping to hear the famous Irish expression, ‘Top of the mornin’ to ya’.

However, you’ll be surprised to know that it’s not a favourite Irish expression at all, but rather just another one of the misconceptions about Ireland people have.

5. We don’t have leprechauns or pots of gold – the luck of the Irish

One of the misconceptions about Ireland is about leprechauns and pots of gold.
Credit: Instagram / @samd.mac

If you have always wanted to see a leprechaun or search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, then you’ll be sadly disappointed because it’s just a gimmick, they don’t really exist.

4. We’re a nation of redheads with freckles – hair as bright as the sun, and freckles to match

People think everyone from Ireland has red hair and freckles.
Credit: / @AdinaVoicu

We all know someone who fits this description; it’s not a complete misconception. However, the whole nation doesn’t fall into this category like some may think.

The look of the Irish varies immensely, but the one thing that perhaps stands out is the fairer skin compared to some other parts of Europe. However, in summer, we work hard at getting our tan on!

3. It’s expensive – €7 for a pint, bargain!

One of the main misconceptions about Ireland is that it is expensive.

This is a huge misconception about the Emerald Isle, and of course, it can be expensive, just like anywhere.

If you visit Dublin or the tourist hubs, you will expect to pay more than usual but if you have a pint in a local country pub, buy fresh produce at markets, eat where the locals eat, and take advantage of our fantastic outlet malls, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is.

2. Driving distances – it’s only down the road

Driving distances in Ireland.
Credit: / @chrizzel_lu

With Ireland being a small island, it’s a common misconception that driving distances are short, and relatively speaking, they are compared some other European countries.

However, if you’re taking the scenic route, which most are, the roads will be narrow and windy, taking much longer than anticipated. Sure, what’s the rush?

1. It’s ALWAYS raining – we live in raincoats

Number one on our list of misconceptions about Ireland is that it always rains.

Sure enough, the rain does love to visit Ireland, probably more than some other parts of Europe, but that’s what keeps it green and lush. However, it’s a common misconception that it ALWAYS rains in Ireland.

Many people who visit Ireland claim to have been lucky to have had sunny days during their trip, but this is quite common.

Ireland has four distinct seasons, but even in winter, we can have blue skies and sunshine. We have more clear, sunny days than you would think.

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