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Top 10 facts about the Irish way of life

We smuggle sausages and we clap when the plane lands … just two of the findings from a survey by the insurance giant Irish Life.

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the company commissioned a survey of its customers to find out the everyday habits and views of the average Irish man and woman.

The findings are a light hearted look at the behaviour and personality traits that make the Irish who they are.

10 facts about the Irish - photo copyright Stewart Butterfield cc2

From the bizarre to the embarrassing to the surprising, we have selected our top 10 facts from Irish Life’s survey.

10 – 80% of Irish people have eaten a crisp sandwich.
Yes, revolting to some but revered by the majority, crisp sandwiches are still seen as the ideal snack, meal, hangover cure, comfort food, diet buster…

9 – 25% of Irish people have tried online dating
It’s a long way from the old legendary matchmaker events of our forefathers, but a logical development given the technological age. Unfortunately, the survey gives no indication if our online searches for a partner are successful or not.

8 – 25% of Irish people still have their first teddy bear.
After the trauma of the fall of the Celtic Tiger, the recession, austerity measures and now water charges…perhaps it’s not surprising we want to cling on to something that reminds us of a safer, more comfortable time.

7 – Only 20% of us are friends with our mothers on Facebook
Well, we have to some privacy. And after a lifetime of advice from mammy, we want a little freedom to assert ourselves, be independent and cut the apron strings…although we’d never dare say that to her of course. The fact that most mothers aren’t all that up to speed with Facebook may help in our quest for privacy.

6 – 75% of Irish people will ask a taxi driver if he has been busy
The Irish may be famous for their gift of the gab but we still resort to clichés in some situations. When getting in a taxi, it’s almost obligatory to ask the driver if he’s been busy. In return, he is expected to reply, that no, it’s been really quiet tonight.

80% of Irish people have eaten a crisp sandwich. photo copyright Ireland Calling

5 – Two thirds still have friends from their primary school
Do we hold on to our friends because we’re loyal, or because we’re too lazy to find new ones? Either way a high number of us remain in contact friends long after school is over.

4 – 20% have vowed never to wear the colour of their school uniform
Probably a vow that most people will never keep, but nevertheless, an indication that for many people, schooldays are not the best time of their lives.

3 – 40% would check out someone’s social media account before a big date
Well, these days you can’t be too careful. And with a wealth of information available about us all on Facebook and Twitter, why not do a little online homework before diving in too deep.

2 – 25% of us clap when the plane lands
This one is a bit surprising but maybe it’s because the Irish have never come to terms with air flight, even though Ireland has two major airline companies. Or maybe, it’s because special offers like 10 euro flights from budget airlines like Ryanair seem too cheap to be real and are likely to end in an almighty crash.

1 – 20% say they have smuggled sausages in their luggage
Oh dear…the Irish abroad, still clinging on to the comforts of home. Foreign travel is wonderful with its culture, cuisine and romance…but when all is said and done, you can’t beat a sausage.

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About Michael Kehoe

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