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12 things Ireland really IS the best in the world for

We are world-beaters. Sort of.
Dec 5th 2013, 1:12 PM 66,318 60

WE LEARNED YESTERDAY that Ireland is the best country in the world to do business in, according to Forbes magazine.

We’ll leave that up to them to decide. But there is no doubt that this fair country occupies the global No1 spot in a number of important disciplines.

Here are the things we can be proud of:

1. Tea

Source: grassrootsgroundswell

Other countries may drink more, but we genuinely make the best. (Everyone knows English tea is puny and insipid.)

2. Slang

Source: Kheel Center, Cornell University

Unbeatable. Just try it.

3. The one-finger driving salute

Source: mellen_petrich

Performed with a single finger, raised momentarily from the steering wheel and then lowered again.

Compulsory down the country when passing any other driver, pedestrian or (if you’re feeling friendly) farm animal. All Irish are born experts at it.

4. Enjoyable moaning

Source: Shutterstock

No, not THAT kind of moaning. Just the constant, low-level complaining that all Irish people revel in, and come to expect in others. (Also, we are naturally suspicious of anyone who doesn’t engage in it.)

Of course it doesn’t mean we’re not happy. Far from it. It’s when people stop complaining that you worry.

5. Improvised road signs

Source: Gemma Sherlock

Source: Facebook


6. Weather

Source: Liamfm .

It’s not so much that we have the best weather, as that we have the most weather.

Four seasons in one day? That’s nothing. We’re somewhere around the 12 or 13 mark on a good run.

7. Awkward photo ops

Source: Photocall Ireland

If you need a young lady to hold a random object on St Stephen’s Green while her photo is taken, there is literally no better place. Ireland’s women lead the world in the field of random object holding, and every day brings a new variety.

Source: Photocall Ireland

Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

8. Spelling

Source: padraigversusstarbucks

We have to be, to spell our beautifully consonant-laden names. (The above photo is what happens when a Padraig foolishly goes to Starbucks outside Ireland.)

9. Funerals

Source: infomatique via @irishfunerals

It’s not just being good at them. On some strange level we enjoy them. Is there anywhere else in the world where certain funerals could be considered… quite good craic?

And did you go up to the house for sandwiches?

10. Banter

Source: Twitter/GardaTraffic

Other countries have jokes. We have BANTER. It’s less of a witticism, more of a state of mind.

Even the guards here are past masters of banter. Especially the guards.

11. Comfort food

Source: Lachlan Hardy

You can keep your fancy cuisine. Proper good comfort food – which we Irish lead the world in – should be hot, stodgy, and beige.

Shepherd’s pie, roast chicken, coddle: no better country in which to eat beige food.

12. Snugs

Source: garryknight

Other countries may have nice ‘bars’. But nowhere else has snugs. The world’s greatest place to while away a cold winter evening in the company of friends.

What else is Ireland the best in the world at? All suggestions in the comments please…

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Michael Freeman


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