Top 15 Reasons Why Americans Love Ireland

No matter how much Americans love England, we always keep plenty of room in our hearts for the love of Ireland. We have to - we practically are the Irish! It seems to me that everyone I run into holds claim to some Irish ancestry, no matter how distant. In fact, over 36 million Americans are at least part Irish - that's about 12% of the population of America. Ireland, after all, is only the size of West Virginia, and yet the Irish have become such a great part of our country. I for one am proud of my teensy bit of Irish blood and can think of many reasons to love the Emerald Isle. Here's my Top 15 List.

Top 15 Reasons

15) The Leprechauns

Can you say "Magically Delicious"? Every culture seems to have its own legends of little people, but perhaps Ireland claims the most colorful version: leprechauns. A leprechaun is a little man who likes to make shoes and guards his pot of gold that lies at the end of the rainbow. And sometimes the pot of gold is really just a bowl of cereal. Or at least, that's what I've been told.

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14) The Luck

Now I'm not at all superstitious, but I can't continue without mentioning the Luck of the Irish. I'm really not sure why the Irish are supposed to be so lucky. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Irish are populating the world... At any rate, we sometimes confuse the lucky four-leaf clover with the three-leaf shamrock which is a symbol of Ireland. The Irish shamrock's origins as a symbol really have nothing to do with luck, but with St. Patrick who used the shamrock to explain the Trinity.

Shamrocks

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Lucky Charms

13) The Day of St. Patrick

One of our favorite holidays is St. Patrick's Day. What else is there to do in the month of March? Americans tend to go a little wild on St. Patty's Day, and I sometimes wonder if the Irish themselves could celebrate better. Chicago even dyes its river green for the day. Now that's commitment to heritage.  

St. Patrick

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12) The Pubs

I really don't have any first-hand experience of pubs in Ireland, but here in America an Irish pub is a fun place with good beer, decent food, and great music. Perhaps it's not ladylike for me to say so, but a pub is the place to be on St. Patrick's Day or any day if you just want a Guinness and some decent noise. I have a feeling an Irish pub in Ireland is even better.

Molly Maguire's in Phoenixville, PA

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11) The Guinness

Maybe I'm biased, but Guinness is just the best beer around. There are many reasons for this, not the least being that Guinness has been in existence for 250 years. It's also good for your heart. Brad Pitt drinks Guinness. I drink Guinness. I could go on, but I won't.

A Pint

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10) The Corned Beef

Little does Ireland know that in America corned beef is the epitome of Irish food. Someday we'll all realize that the Irish eat something more than fatty preserved beef that comes in a can. Until then, bring on the bully beef...

Corned Beef in a Can

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9) The Riverdance

My family used to watch Riverdance every St. Patrick's Day - the Jean Butler and Michael Flatley one. If only if only I could have been a dancer... At any rate, Irish dancing is absolutely beautiful to watch, and I imagine it is amazing to actually dance.

Jean Butler as the Countess Cathleen

8) The Doors

It's an obvious fact that Ireland has doors that are much more interesting than ours in America. That's right - doors. Haven't you seen the poster "Doors of Ireland"? The house might be made of straw, but at least the doors looks good.

Colorful Doors in Ireland

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My Boring American Door

7) The Landscape

The amount of Irish countryside calendars that are sold in America is amazing. Trust me. Even though most of us have never been to Ireland, we still like to look at it. Ireland must be truly gorgeous. It can't be called The Emerald Isle for nothing.

Cliffs of Moher

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6) The Sheep

Of course, the Irish landscape wouldn't be complete without the big fluffy sheep that probably populate every field in Ireland. (The calendar told me so.)

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5) The Language

None of your blarney! Or your shenanigans! Oh, and top o' the mornin'! Do all the Irish talk like Lucky the Leprechaun? Probably not... Maybe it's strange, but if I were to learn another language, I'd pick Gaelic.

 

Slainte!

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4) The Toasts

It is sometimes hard for us Americans to wax eloquent without sounding like idiots, so we often turn to the Irish to write our toasts for us. Raise your glasses:

"May your troubles be as few and as far apart as my Grandmother's teeth."

"May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent."

"May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past."

"May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends."

"May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. And rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand."

3) The Music

Everyone loves Celtic music - the fiddles and bodrhans, the jigs and hornpipes. Traditional Irish music is toe-tapping, happy-yet-sad fun. And of course, the Irish have made their own way with modern pop music. Their claim to fame includes U2, Sinead O'Connor, and the Cranberries.

Bono from U2

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Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries

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2) The Actors and Actresses

Maybe it's their accents, but the Irish have done fairly well for themselves in Hollywood. Irish actors and actresses include Sean Bean, Liam Neeson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Cillian Murphy, Colin Farrell, Pierce Brosnan, and Saoirse Ronan.

Pierce Brosnan

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Jonathan Rhys Meyers

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Saoirse Ronan

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1) The Literature

If you know me at all, you will have guessed that literature would be my number one. And Ireland has its fair share of the good stuff - just consider the Old Library at Trinity College (someday I will live there). Irish writers include Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, and Jonathan Swift, to name a few.

Jonathan Swift

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Oscar Wilde

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William Butler Yeats

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The Library at Trinity College in Dublin

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Comments 46 comments

Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon

What a fun collection of reasons to love Ireland! It's so true: everyone says their Irish, and if they're not, they wish they were. That Trinity College library is incredible. Layers upon layers of gorgeous books! Do they let people past the ropes into the aisles?


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Jane, who doesn't love Ireland? I imagine the Trinity Library keeps most of its valuable books away from the touring public... but there must be a way to access them. It would be cool to just look at them anyhow - plus that's where the Book of Kells is!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, Rose, it certainly is gorgeous, I have never been but one of my closest friends comes from Tipperary in southern Ireland and she is always talking about it, great hub, and I love the leprechauns! cheers nell

p.s. forgot to say, not sure if Sean bean is irish I think he was born in sheffield England, but I may be wrong.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon

I'll broadcast my ignorance: what's the Book of Kells?


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Nell, thanks for coming by! Just the name "Tipperary" sparks the imagination! I have a fancy for leprechauns too, and yet some depictions are almost a little frightening. Oh, you're right about Sean Bean! I must have been thinking of the movie "Patriot Games" when he played an Irishman.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Jane, the Book of Kells is (in a sentence) an ancient manuscript of the Gospels, with beautiful and amazing Celtic illustrations and calligraphy.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

This is one of the Best Hubs that I've ever seen.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Why thank you, Wesman :D


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

Hi Rose! Have you ever read the book - 'How the Irish Saved Civilization?' Back during the Dark Ages, when the people of Europe were burning books, monks huckled tons of book to Ireland to copy and save. It's a fascinating read, and a miracle.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Dolores, no I haven't heard of that book - I'll have to look into it. What an amazing story! Sounds like a good read :)


Psychoboy 5 years ago

Dolores O'Riordan is the best t'ing to come out of Ireland!


dolitz 5 years ago

i enjoyed reading this so much, i love Ireland for all the reasons that you wrote and a thousand more maybe, but yeah Dolores O'Riordan is the biggest reason!!! 'God Be With You Ireland'


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Psychoboy, thanks for your visit!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

dolitz, I'm so glad you enjoyed this! Yes, a thousand reasons wouldn't quite fit on this page, so I had to stick with fifteen :)


Leah 5 years ago

Hi Rose :)

I love your article as I am born and reared in Ireland! You really have to actually come to Ireland as you obviously love it, but also because you should learn what it's really like not just the sterotype.:P such as i have never ever heard any of those toasts in my life, have never eaten corned beef and I have very normal looking doors. Oh and its Paddys day not Pattys day. But you are right, Ireland is beautiful and i am hugely proud to be an irish cailín :) I suggest you go to Galway city for the atmosphere and the wicklow or Kerry mountains for the views. Its breathtaking!! You'd love it :)

Thanks for the article, it was really fun and interesting to see how other cultures see us :)

Slán!!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Leah, glad you came by! I really do love Ireland and would love to visit! I looked up the places you mentioned, and they look amazing! I figured most of my reasons are stereotypes... but I'm sure Ireland is an amazing country, despite my misconceptions. I must confess I'm a little disappointed about the doors, though.


William Murphy 5 years ago

Regarding "The Luck Of The Irish"

In the US and possibly in the UK the expression now seems to mean that Irish people are lucky but sadly it is an ironic phrase. As far as people in Ireland are concerned the Irish have been, and are an unlucky race especially during the 800 year period of occupation by the Normans/English. So, here in Ireland the "Luck Of The Irish" would apply in a case of say a Rugby Match against England. Before the match every indicator would lead everyone to believe that Ireland would win and then the Irish team would lead right up to a few minutes before the end of the match and then the English would score and win despite the fact that the Irish team was by far the better team on the day. Sort of being punished for counting your chickens before they are hatched.

During the gold and silver rush years in the second half of the 19th century, a number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American birth. For example, James Fair, James Flood, William O'Brien and John Mackay were collectively known as the"Silver Kings" after they hit the famed Comstock Lode. Over time this association of the Irish with mining fortunes led to the expression"luck of the Irish." Of course, it carried with it a certain tone of derision, as if to say, only by sheer luck, as opposed to brains, could these fools succeed.


William Murphy 5 years ago

Me again.

You have featured some of my photographs of doors in Dublin (Infomatique).

The doors are not a stereotype there are lots of them in Dublin, Limerick and Belfast but in general you will find in or close the the centers of the cities in question and in the older suburbs.

There is considerable debate about the association of corned beef with Ireland. Bacon & Cabbage would in fact be the combination associated with Ireland.

In general in Ireland tinned corned beef (known as bully beef in the UK) is not what you will get when you order corned beef and cabbage (in fact it would be insulting if a restaurant served it to you). In Ireland today, the serving of corned beef is geared toward tourist consumption and most Irish in Ireland do not identify the ingredient as native cuisine.

Very few younger people here in Ireland would have ever eaten tinned corned beef.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 4 years ago from Michigan Author

William, I really appreciate your taking the time to share all that fascinating info about the luck of the Irish and corned beef! Thank you! I really had no idea about the Irish miners. Thank you also for allowing me to use your beautiful photos :) I hope to someday see those great doors for myself someday.


Andrew Clune 4 years ago

Other things that are truly Irish , taytos , Jameson whiskey , a soft day ( there are 365 of them in a year , the country mile , father Ted , the GAA ( it's tribal and can be more important then life itself ) , the Craic ( it has to be 90 ) , answering a question with a question , the cliffs of moher , the lakes of Killarney , a quick pint ,


Rose West profile image

Rose West 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Andrew, Great list! Thanks for adding on :)


Jamie 4 years ago

It's called the Emerald Isle because it's always raining!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I think I could live with that - rain is lovely :)


lastexit 4 years ago

3. The Music

I would like to add The CORRS to the list.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi lastexit, I haven't heard of The Corrs, so thanks :)


Andy 4 years ago

Dublin native here, obviously I don't speak for everyone in Ireland but I always find American impressions of us as cute, by the way, Guinness is a stout not a beer, and the only place in the world I've tried one I didn't think tasted horrible was the St. James Gate brewery itself!


Andy 4 years ago

Correction : Guinness IS a beer, but in the same way a human is a mammal, it's vague is all I'm saying ;)


Rose West profile image

Rose West 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Hello Andy, thanks for your comments! Yes, our attempts at imitating your accent are pretty pathetic :) You're right, Guinness is a stout - thanks for pointing that out. I like the Guinness we get here, so I guess I'd be blown away by the original at St James Gate!


Jimmys Money blog profile image

Jimmys Money blog 4 years ago

Great read. I moved from England to the North/West of Ireland 17 years ago and never looked back. I open my blinds on a morning looking out over a valley with a salmon river running through it and mountains in the background and my local sells the best Guinness ever.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Jimmys Money blog - sounds quite picturesque! You must live in a lovely place :) Thanks for reading!


rebecca 4 years ago

Hi just came across this by mistake,

I would just like to say that the doors aren't really Irish at all, they are Georgian style doors found in older suburbs in cities which were built by the British. Most of the architecture in Dublin (I’m from Dublin) is English, for example, Trinity College, The Four Courts, Grafton Street and many more, the list goes on and on. Also I agree with William Murphy tinned corned beef is a no no, its fresh meat or no meat in most households! Another point, I’ve been to the library in trinity and you can’t get passed the ropes :( the picture above is of the old library and you can only access the books with permission from the head of the college and they don’t give it very often :( I think you will find this interesting, the library is a copyright library so any book published in Britain or Ireland a copy has to be sent to trinity, they have a normal library for students but they can’t physically keep all the books on the campus so they have a warehouse (yes a warehouse) on the outskirts of the city to hold the less desired books :)

Rebecca, cailín na héireann tríd agus tríd(Irish girl through and through)


Emma 3 years ago

Hello, I love this article!i am from Tipperary myself like someone up there!^i find Ireland beautiful and always having craic, recommend it hahaha!


Jack Campbell 3 years ago

It's the beer coming together with Irish folk music. No place in the world where you can enjoy the vibe of sitting in an Irish pub.

Anyone intending to pay a visit to Ireland, I promise to take him on a beer and pubs tour. A once in a lifetime experience!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Jack, thanks for your comment! I'm sure a visit to an authentic Irish pub is a must! And it's definitely on my to-do list for someday.


Brigid 3 years ago

I live in Ireland and it is truly beautiful with sloping hills, fresh green fields and the most amazing parishes; it is truly one of the best places to live. Our pubs are great with true atmosphere. But I think St. Patrick's Day has gone too far with the 'celebrations' that don't represent what St. Patrick's Day is really about. A parade, a few drinks etc are all fine but going completely nuts is not okay. One last note is that I love our phrases that seem strange to other people. My English friend didn't know about the phrase gas ticket until I called her one.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 2 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Brigid, Thanks for your comments! I agree that St. Patrick's Day is fun, but not getting too crazy :)


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

This is a great hub, especially for those who are a little bit Irish. Voted up and shared.


vandynegl profile image

vandynegl 2 years ago from Ohio Valley

I actually subscribe to an e-mail list for "Irish Vacations." One of these days (such as when my children graduate.....which is a long time from now) I will be somewhere in Ireland. Have you ever read some of Nora Roberts books? There are several that take place in Ireland and she describes some of the countryside and details so well. Perhaps I live in a fantasy land!

You have a great list here! I love U2 and the Cranberries. Music tops the list for me! Along with the beautiful countryside too! Thanks for sharing!


Bishop55 profile image

Bishop55 2 years ago from USA

I'm an Irish American (mutt), and I'm Ireland bound (Dublin) in 6 days!! :) This was fun to read before I depart.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 2 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it :)


Rose West profile image

Rose West 2 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi vandynegl, thanks for reading! I actually haven't read any of Nora Roberts - thanks for the tip :)


Rose West profile image

Rose West 2 years ago from Michigan Author

Yay :) I hope you had a great time!


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Lovely hub ! :). Thank you for sharing. I hope one day to visit Ireland.


Kyla Janelle profile image

Kyla Janelle 23 months ago from Southern California

I'm going to Ireland in about a month! I can't wait.


sheilamarie78 profile image

sheilamarie78 18 months ago

I'm one of those Ireland-loving American-Canadian idjits. No "partly" in my Irish heritage. Watch me as I kick up my heels.


Diarmaid 7 months ago

Funnily enough, 'the luck of the Irish' is a dry satire. After hundreds of years of violent colonisation, religious cleansing, famine, poverty etc., under the rule of their neighbour... The name was fitting to the situation of clearly having no luck whatsoever lol.

Seems to have changed around however, except for a small hiccup in 2010.

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