Examples of How Little the British know about Ireland

FrCrilly

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Hi All,

I have just read the below RTE article about how little the British know about Ireland.

https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2020/0...about-ireland/

It reminds me of the time that Beth Webster, a member of BBCs Eggheads quiz team, thought that the population of the Republic of Ireland was 24.8 million (when given multiple choice options of 4.8m, 14.8m or 24.8m). She is one of the best quizzers in the UK and she probably never got such a basic question so wrong in her entire quizzing career.

If anyone has any similar examples of how little the British know about Ireland, can you please post them here.

Thanks In Advance for all responses
 


rainmaker

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Who cares what the British know about Ireland ?

I think the OP and the article scream out a lack of confidence - I doubt you would ever see an article on the BBC website pondering how little Irish people know about Britain.
 

silverharp

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I remember an English insurance company trying to sell me house insurance, I said but I live in Dublin I doubt you can sell me insurance, "no no don't worry , can I have your post code" me: ok 4 . Herself: erm that's not in our computer :LOL:
The again Ive worked with an English person who didn't know where Cardiff was. I blame the education system
 

rainmaker

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I remember an English insurance company trying to sell me house insurance, I said but I live in Dublin I doubt you can sell me insurance, "no no don't worry , can I have your post code" me: ok 4 . Herself: erm that's not in our computer :LOL:
The again Ive worked with an English person who didn't know where Cardiff was. I blame the education system
You have to understand Ireland makes up a small part of British history, while Britain for obvious reasons, makes up a big part of Irish history.

Also, Ireland consumes a lot of British culture through the media & sport - with the reverse case being virtually none existent.
 

pippakin

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Why should the British know or bother to learn more than they already know about Ireland? Ireland is not important to the British Its a shame that Ireland doesn't want to let go
 

Splodge

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Why should the British know or bother to learn more than they already know about Ireland? Ireland is not important to the British Its a shame that Ireland doesn't want to let go
When you lot get out of our country we’ll let go. We’re also one of the few countries you have a trade surplus with.
 

raetsel

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You have to understand Ireland makes up a small part of British history, while Britain for obvious reasons, makes up a big part of Irish history.

Also, Ireland consumes a lot of British culture through the media & sport - with the reverse case being virtually none existent.
It's also true of course that many Irish people have close relatives in Britain but the converse is not, which also explains much. I'd guess that most Irish people have been to Britain at least several times, but again I'm not sure that the opposite is true. In my own case I've literally lost count of the number of times I've visited Britain - I'd guess 30 or 40 times over the years, mostly shortish visits but I've had five or six longer holidays as well.
A remarkable number of people of recent Irish origin have made a considerable contribution to modern British culture. And of course three of the four Beatles had Irish roots going back a bit further.
You've done quite well out of the arrangement. :)
 

rainmaker

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You've done quite well out of the arrangement. :)
Absolutely. Very much so in fact.

But there is only so much time a curriculum can dedicate to History and, with the UK, there is an awful lot to squeeze in and cover.
 

pippakin

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When you lot get out of our country we’ll let go. We’re also one of the few countries you have a trade surplus with.
Oh dear another one who can't do simple arithmetic All you do is add up the number of Irish people living in the UK and subtract the number of British people living in Ireland from that
 

Catapulta

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I found that the English knew f.cuk all about Ireland when I lived there.

To them Ireland is like Aran Island is to us

- a small island somewhere off the west coast of the Mainland....
 

Sweet Darling

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Hi All,

I have just read the below RTE article about how little the British know about Ireland.

https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2020/0...about-ireland/

It reminds me of the time that Beth Webster, a member of BBCs Eggheads quiz team, thought that the population of the Republic of Ireland was 24.8 million (when given multiple choice options of 4.8m, 14.8m or 24.8m). She is one of the best quizzers in the UK and she probably never got such a basic question so wrong in her entire quizzing career.

If anyone has any similar examples of how little the British know about Ireland, can you please post them here.

Thanks In Advance for all responses
Stop watching foreign TV.
There, your cured
 

shiel

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It is interesting that the English have closed minds when it comes to Ireland.

High minded quiz shows like University Challenge for example highlight this.

People who are brilliant in their general knowledge display amazing ignorance of the most basic facts in relation to Ireland.

But I do not see it as a worry as we have had issues with them over things of much more fundamental importance over the centuries and continue to do so.
 

Splodge

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Oh dear another one who can't do simple arithmetic All you do is add up the number of Irish people living in the UK and subtract the number of British people living in Ireland from that
WTF are you on about?
 

midlander12

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I remember a few times in the old days when you'd be booking accommodation over the phone - if you were booking somewhere in the UK and started giving them your phone number, they would be totally baffled when you gave them the international code. They seemed to think they would not need it, like ringing a local number. I remember a guy in Brighton who I booked an apartment from accused me of giving him a false number!

In fairness, ignorance about Ireland is not limited to the British. We tend to have something of an exaggerated view of our fame in the world. Last year in Portugal, a German guy asked me whether I had voted for or against Brexit (I had already told him I was Irish, so it wasn't that he was confused about my nationality. He seemed to think Ireland would be leaving the EU along with the UK). I also remember a Maltese bar owner rather hilariously refusing to believe that the Republic of Ireland was actually an independent country - 'oh you mean you have home rule?' were his actual words. I actually showed him Irish euro coins to try and convince him, but he was still convinced I was having him on.
 

raetsel

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It is interesting that the English have closed minds when it comes to Ireland.

High minded quiz shows like University Challenge for example highlight this.
I think it's fair to say that we know a lot more about them than they do about us. On British quiz shows (maybe not on University Challenge though) I know a lot more about their politics and history than the average contestant. In my experience most British people don't know very much about those topics at all.
I think I could recite the order of succession of the monarchy with 100% accuracy from Henry VII in the late 1400s onwards, and at the very least can pinpoint the centuries they reigned in. I'm a bit sketchy before that but I'd still have a fair idea of when most monarchs reigned. That derives from an avid interest in history. Which is all the more odd considering my background as a (non-violent) northern republican. I qualify that in order to distance myself from the sort who think that to qualify you need to be an IRA supporter. :)
 

shiel

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I think it's fair to say that we know a lot more about them than they do about us. On British quiz shows (maybe not on University Challenge though) I know a lot more about their politics and history than the average contestant. In my experience most British people don't know very much about those topics at all.
I think I could recite the order of succession of the monarchy with 100% accuracy from Henry VII in the late 1400s onwards, and at the very least can pinpoint the centuries they reigned in. I'm a bit sketchy before that but I'd still have a fair idea of when most monarchs reigned. That derives from an avid interest in history. Which is all the more odd considering my background as a (non-violent) northern republican. I qualify that in order to distance myself from the sort who think that to qualify you need to be an IRA supporter. :)
I suppose we learned our history which for centuries involved depredations being carried out by the English.

They on the other hand looked at Paddy as a pain in the arse always causing trouble by trying to defends his basic rights.
 


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