Doubtless there are many Americans who plan to visit our beautiful country this summer. In the interests of friendship and cordiality, I thought I would put together some handy little tips and tricks to make your visit even more memorable.
1. We Irish drive on the left hand side of the road. Late in the evening however we frequently drive on the right. Sharp blind bends are always taken on the wrong side of the road however, and you can rest easy in the knowledge that this rule is universally applied.
2. Our police are renowned for their friendliness and sense of humour. Should you meet one, then the standard greeting is the Irish expression "Fir comh" [pronounced “fur cough”] which translates as "strong man". On hearing this greeting the policeman will slap you on the back with a hearty laugh and treat you like a local.
3. It is an ancient tradition that anyone entering a pub at night buys everyone in the place a drink. Failure to do this can end in unexpected and violent consequences.
4. Irish women love to be complimented on their figures, and in particular [for some strange reason] they are very proud of their posteriors. If you want to impress an Irish woman, there is no better way than to tell her she has a beautiful fanny.
5. The Irish hate Garth Brooks. We invited him over for five sell-out concerts and then canceled them at the last minute. We only did that to wind him up.
6. Old men with beards have a special place in Irish culture. It is traditional to place a €100 note in their hand if you see one.
7. We Irish just love an American accent. When you talk – in a bar, cafe, restaurant or even in the street – make sure you talk as loudly as possible. You will notice the appreciative glances you will get from everyone around you.
8. Leprechauns are a vibrant tradition in Ireland. Folklore states that all Irish men have a personal leprechaun on their shoulders, known as "Wee Michael". As an Irishman if you can pet his Little Mickey and you will have a friend for life.
9. Youth culture is strong in Ireland. If you should meet a group of young men in the street they will greet you with the traditional old saying "Whatya lookin' ah". The response is to gently tap them on the cheek with a clenched fist.
10. If you plan to drive in Ireland, there is no need to bring a map. Our sign posting system is excellent and anyway, you can always ask a local for directions.
Enjoy your trip.