Baffling and/or bonkers: what aspects of Irish life do foreigners find bewildering?

Congalltee

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
6,124
1) a first world health system, but a 3rd world A&E system to get into it.
2) rent inflation, poor tenant rights, obsession about ownership
3) baptism barrier in schools.
4) Good Friday drinking ban.
5) having a homelessness crisis with over 250,000 empty properties.
6) that thevirush language is the first official language but it is rarely heard in a natural setting outside of a few small areas
7) why FG and FF both exist.
8) That we didn't riot or hold a national strike during savage cuts to public services from Lenihan/Noonan and that we're now blasé about not collecting Apple money.

[please add, elaborate, [don"t] tell them to go back home if they don't like it, suggest improvements etc]
 
Last edited:


Fractional Reserve

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
8,158
1) a first world health system, but a 3rd world A&E system to get into it.
2) rent inflation, poor tenant rights, obsession about ownership
3) baptism barrier in schools.
4) Good Friday drinking ban.
5) having a homelessness crisis with over 250,000 empty properties.
6) why FG and FF both exist.
[please add, elaborate, tell them to go back home if they don't like it, suggest improvements etc]
a 3rd world health system :no its not
tenants have more rights than they ever had
baptism is not a barrier more spin
good friday drinking ban is a loads of bollocks
are all these properties situated in Cork , Dublin , Galway , Limerick?thats where the main problem is .
FG and FF exist because they are the political parties that people vote for .
 

Mick Mac

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
7,851
I know Ibrahim's dad finds equal marriage baffling.
 

Mick Mac

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
7,851
1) a first world health system, but a 3rd world A&E system to get into it.
2) rent inflation, poor tenant rights, obsession about ownership
3) baptism barrier in schools.
4) Good Friday drinking ban.
5) having a homelessness crisis with over 250,000 empty properties.
6) that thevirush language is the first official language but it is rarely heard in a natural setting outside of a few small areas
7) why FG and FF both exist.
[please add, elaborate, [don"t] tell them to go back home if they don't like it, suggest improvements etc]
A fundamental list of what is wrong in the state
 

Mick Mac

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
7,851

Notachipanoaktree

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
8,137
How it is that the most useless, stupid, and thuggish get on in life, while the able and capable are set on by bands of wild and vicious country boys and girls.
 

Sister Mercedes

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
20,461
A bizarre deference to the legal profession, who in other countries are generally considered with skepticism. The IMF couldn't get over that.
 

Catalpast

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
25,560
1) a first world health system, but a 3rd world A&E system to get into it.
2) rent inflation, poor tenant rights, obsession about ownership
3) baptism barrier in schools.
4) Good Friday drinking ban.
5) having a homelessness crisis with over 250,000 empty properties.
6) that thevirush language is the first official language but it is rarely heard in a natural setting outside of a few small areas
7) why FG and FF both exist.
[please add, elaborate, [don"t] tell them to go back home if they don't like it, suggest improvements etc]
That we let hundreds of thousands of them in the door with no thought as to how to provide jobs, schools + hospitals and most importantly HOUSES

- to accommodate them all.....


Irish Politicians and The Nice Treaty - what they really said:

"It is a disgraceful xenophobic myth that there will be a threat of a flood of migrant workers coming to Ireland. A wilful effort has been made by the National Platform and the No to Nice Campaign organisation to raise the spectre of a wave of immigrants coming to our shores. This is the worst and most unworthy objection I have heard to the Nice treaty; it is most "un-Irish" and speaks volumes about the level at which some are willing to conduct political debate. It is a shameful and distasteful piece of propaganda.
Xenophobic fears have been raised before. When Ireland was joining the EEC in 1973, the same National Platform warned of foreign skilled workers taking Irish jobs. False fears of mass movements of people at the time of previous enlargements were also raised, but, as we know from the Spanish and Portuguese enlargement, these fears did not materialise. There is no credible reason to believe enlargement will be accompanied by large movements of people. All the evidence points in the opposite direction".


Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Mr. Roche); 12th September 2002

There is no reason to believe... that large numbers of workers will wish to come"
[Minister for Europe Dick Roche, I.T. Letters, 12/7/2002].

"Ireland will be in precisely the same position as all other member states on the question of free movement following any enlargement of the Community".
[Dick Roche, as reported in the Irish Times, September 2002].

"It is the view of the Irish Government and a number of other governments that this idea that there is going to be a huge influx of immigrants is just not supported. The evidence is just not there for it. They are not going to flood to the west. The same rules are going to apply in all 15 states. There is no evidence to suggest that the people of the Czech Republic or Poland are less anxious to stay in their home as we are.
[Dick Roche, transcript of interview with The Irish Catholic, 19/9/2002].
 

Congalltee

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
6,124
..
baptism is not a barrier more spin
...
FG and FF exist because they are the political parties that people vote for .
A requirement that a local child be baptised to ensure entry to a state funded school certainly is a barrier to that child.

A clued in foreigner if asking why FG and ff both exist, will already be aware that they are political parties and that half the population votes for them. What a foreigner may find baffling, bonkers and bewildering is that a small country can have two right of centre Christian democratic parties, which have each had financial scandals, massively increased national debt, and that one can lead the government, while the other leads the opposition. (The confidence and supply arrangement would not be unheard of in many European countries).
 
Last edited:

Fritzbox

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
2,590
1) a first world health system, but a 3rd world A&E system to get into it.
2) rent inflation, poor tenant rights, obsession about ownership
3) baptism barrier in schools.
4) Good Friday drinking ban.
5) having a homelessness crisis with over 250,000 empty properties.
6) that thevirush language is the first official language but it is rarely heard in a natural setting outside of a few small areas
7) why FG and FF both exist.
8) That we didn't riot or hold a national strike during savage cuts to public services from Lenihan/Noonan and that we're now blasé about not collecting Apple money.

[please add, elaborate, [don"t] tell them to go back home if they don't like it, suggest improvements etc]
None of these are particularly unique to Ireland. No. 3 is as already mentioned, just a lot of spin.

However some people believe that Irish society has a strange fascination with death, as this Scotswoman explained:

One side of Irish life that hasn't changed, and the reason she reckons she is so widely known, is the social fixation with death. It brings forth the broad smile again, and suddenly her Glaswegian accent sounds even more pronounced.

'HOW MANY FUNERALS have I been to in my life? You go to people that you know really well. Member of the family, yes, you'll go to that one. Maybe a colleague, out of respect. But you don't go to every dog in the street," she say, incredulous now. "What's this fascination? It's true, if they haven't been to a removal in a week, it's a bad week. Obituaries! The fact that even the radio programmes list the dead! What is wrong with them?"
"You don't have to know them, you just have to know it's a funeral. It's amazing in this country, the fascination with death. Add any excitement to that, any bit of mystery, anything a bit out of the ordinary, and they'll be there in their droves. It's phenomenal. Incredible."
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/death-on-her-hands-1.1031035
 

Socratus O' Pericles

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
32,914
So many people think they are alt-right Americans and speak accordingly.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
32,914
Incredibly, they seem to have got the idea that it encourages binge drinking.
I believe our relationship with alcohol, for example refusal to believe that its "going out" if don't have 8 pints minimum (were you out last night? Nah just had the four!), is baffling in the extreme especially to anyone not from Northern Europe.

Also our peculiar attitude to mental health i.e. mental illness/syndromes / conditions don't really exist and are just fabrications of the sufferer must puzzle folk from more advanced and enlightened societies.
 

former wesleyan

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
25,604
I've just finished a book which dealt with ;-
1) cuts to the police forces leading to bad crime resolution stats
2) an over stretched health system
3) urban pollution
4) immigrant ghettos being created despite efforts to prevent this
5) hostility to immigrants
6) public anger at the behaviour of banks and bankers
7) unemployed people unable to find employment or likely to…….

……..and so on and so on.


It was set in Sweden.
 

redhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
6,663
1) a first world health system, but a 3rd world A&E system to get into it.
2) rent inflation, poor tenant rights, obsession about ownership
3) baptism barrier in schools.
4) Good Friday drinking ban.
5) having a homelessness crisis with over 250,000 empty properties.
6) that thevirush language is the first official language but it is rarely heard in a natural setting outside of a few small areas
7) why FG and FF both exist.
8) That we didn't riot or hold a national strike during savage cuts to public services from Lenihan/Noonan and that we're now blasé about not collecting Apple money.

[please add, elaborate, [don"t] tell them to go back home if they don't like it, suggest improvements etc]
Don't know if I count as a foreigner but more and more I am starting to think of myself as one. Grew up in the UK and have lived here more than half my life, family of origin Irish, Irish passport BUT that pesky English accent means I am always interrogated (and that is really what it feels like).

I find it especially difficult when I go into a new work situation or meet new colleagues, people always think they're being friendly but I find it really obtrusive. I've noticed it with newly arrived non nationals as well. Not all are uncomfortable with it but some are.

I think it is because even now with all the changes in Irish society in the past twenty years that the underlying behaviour hasn't really caught up. We are still very parochial, "where do you live, which street, do ye know x,y,z?"

That's fine when you live in a homogenous society where everyone is the same, has pretty much the same education, the same cultural references, the same family complexion.

I know it's a natural reaction, when we meet new people we want to know a bit about them, find out who we're dealing with but sometimes people have things they'd rather not talk about for reasons they shouldn't have to explain. There's a sort of a lack of understanding of this and a lack of respecting other people's privacy and right to privacy.

And it's funny because ironically the media in Ireland is far more respectful of the rights of its citizens, particularly public representatives than the media in the UK, it's just that it doesn't seem to extend to ordinary everyday people respecting each other in this way.

So that would be my suggestion, learn to be a bit more circumspect, don't assume the right to ask people personal questions and realise that questions about family or marital status etc. are personal questions.
 

Congalltee

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
6,124
I've just finished a book which dealt with ;-
1) cuts to the police forces leading to bad crime resolution stats
2) an over stretched health system
3) urban pollution
4) immigrant ghettos being created despite efforts to prevent this
5) hostility to immigrants
6) public anger at the behaviour of banks and bankers
7) unemployed people unable to find employment or likely to…….

……..and so on and so on.


It was set in Sweden.
They are so general, that could be set in Spain, Portugal, Greece. Fianna Fáil, Good Friday drinking ban and baptism barrier are not so universal.
 
Last edited:


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top