Throughout the years, Ireland has experienced several waves of emigration. This has resulted in millions of people all over the world that have Irish heritage.
From the USA to Australia people with Irish roots are keen to know more about where their ancestors came from.
Like any country, Ireland has changed a lot over the course of the centuries and often the idea of Ireland that is passed down the generations of the diaspora is somewhat different to the reality of the country as it is today.
With that in mind, it is inevitable that people from other parts of the world might have preconceptions about Ireland that need correcting.
But what are the things that Irish people get fed up of explaining? That was a question was put to the users of Quora and several Irish people provided their answers.
The most popular answer by far was the relationship between Ireland and the UK – especially that they are NOT part of the same country.
To clarify – Ireland is not part of the UK – but Northern Ireland is. It is up to the Northern Irish people to decide if and when they will leave the UK and re-join the Republic to form a united Ireland.
Everybody who posted to Quora made sure to point out that Ireland is a country in its own right and not part of the UK.
Many took the opportunity to get other points off their chests. Here are some of the standout answers:
Colm Ryan said: “We don’t say ‘Top of the morning’ to each other, we are not always drunk and we’re not always fighting each other. Hollywood has a lot to answer for…
“That the Irish language is called Irish, and not Gaelic. The Irish language is called Gaeilge in Irish, and that’s as close as it gets.”
Eamonn O’Kelly posted: “Why the Irish are not Celts and the fact that there never were any Celts in Ireland…
“Why the Irish fought to become independent of the UK…
“The fact that the Irish don’t hate the British (and, indeed, that Irish and British people get along well with each other most of the time).”
Keith Anderson Bradly added: “That Ireland is NOT a religious country, nevermind a ‘Catholic’ country…
“That the Battle Of Clontarf was NOT the Irish Versus The Vikings and that Brian Borù did NOT ‘kick the Vikings out of Ireland’…
“How big a part Irish people had in the various British wars including the World Wars, serving the British monarchy…
“That there is no such thing as a single Irish accent and there are over 40 accents between the 32 counties.”
Peter J O’Connor said: “Perhaps because we have never been at war with any mainland country we have less antipathy to our European neighbours and are generally extremely welcome in every country when people find out that we are not in fact British – but Irish. A fact that though I’ve tried explaining few British ‘get’!
“We share their (Britain’s) sports but have our own, and our own music and dance and language (in spite of hundreds of years of the violent suppression of same).”