Everything You Wanted To Know About Ireland But Were Afraid To Ask

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Black Family in a wet and windy Northern Ireland. Just for a change….

Okay he was probably Welsh, didn’t know a shamrock from his elbow and never saw a snake in his life but those are just details right? Today is a big day on the island of Ireland.

Later today I’m going to write about living in Northern Ireland after a fellow blogger suggested this topic. So if you have any questions about the country then please feel free to comment below.

But be warned, I’m not your stereotypical Irishman. I hate Guinness, can’t speak Gaelic and green is most definitely not my colour. But Fionnuala and I are born and bred Irish so we will do our best to answer any questions you might have.

What questions do you have for us about growing up and living in Ireland?

37 thoughts on “Everything You Wanted To Know About Ireland But Were Afraid To Ask

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  1. I’d love to know what you do to celebrate St Patrick’s day as a family. There is never anything family orientated here so i would be interested to know if it’s different where you are 😊

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  2. Love the face paint. Do they really do corned beeg and cabbage in Ireland for St Patty’s Day? If the answer is yes, then why? If the answer is no, then why do we do it here in the US?

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    1. I can answer that one: No, they don’t do corned beef and cabbage in Ireland. You’ll see it on the menu only when American tourists are expected (such as for March 17). It’s not a genuine ethnic Irish meal because in ancient Ireland, cattle were a form of wealth like currency is today: see the legends of Queen Medb and Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley). The Irish traditionally raised their cattle for dairy consumption, not for their meat (when the Irish could afford to eat meat – which wasn’t often – it was chicken, pork or mutton). After Ireland became part of the British Empire, the British wanted beef, and they bought it from the Irish, who shipped the cattle over on the hoof, and also slaughtered, with the meat preserved in very coarse salt (“corned,” because the bits of salt were about the size of grains of wheat, which in Europe was called “corn” – see also this usage in the term “peppercorns”). The barrels of salted beef were marked that they were the product of Ireland. Thus, it was the British who are “Irish corned beef,” not the Irish. Irish corned beef was also shipped to America, where the standard of living slowly improved for Irish immigrants, until they began to be able to afford to eat the cheaper cuts of beef (the fatty corned brisket). Imported Irish beef also would have been bought by Americans (particularly of Irish descent) as a sign of support for Ireland, although they were probably buying it from British suppliers who were shipping over their excess inventory.

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        1. You’re welcome! I learned a lot of interesting stuff like that when I was writing my first novel. I wanted the story to be an authentic reflection of contemporary Irish life, so it took three years to research (including a 2-week backpack trip over there).

          BTW, the proper culinary name for the combination of corned beef brisket and cabbage is “New England Boiled Dinner,” which is another hint about its origins as an American dish.

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  3. What is the economic status? Are there any religious/political divisions? How is the crime rate? Does it rain often? How about transportation? What about the education system? What activities are there for families, young adults? Have you always lived in the same area? How about the availability of good medical care? Cost of living?

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  4. Kinda late…. but hope you guys had a brilliant St Patrick’s Day! 🍀👌❤

    How do you celebrate St Patrick’s in general? Any cultural norms?

    Alsooo….. I’ve been wanting to go to Ireland forever, especially areas where you can really appreciate the nature/environment. Slemish mountain, Ballymena and the cliff wapks and trails along The Strand to name a few! What places and spots would you suggest/are your favourite?

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    1. It’s never too late. We had a quiet St Patrick’s Day. We watched the rugby and then had ‘Paddy Pizzas’ for our dinner. The North Coast is hard to beat. The Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, The Dark Hedges to name but a few. It’s where a lot of Game of Thrones is filmed.

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