: Why do I have to end every sentence with "Begorrah"? Bertie
: My dear Gussie, that is how people think Irish people talk.
Lots of Americans have a fondness for Ireland
. This is understandable, considering there are more Americans of Irish descent than there are people living in Ireland
(by a margin of about 11 to 1). This has a certain amount of Always An Actor
about it, in that Americans will sometimes claim Irish or Scots descent on the basis of third or fourth generation ancestors and near-homeopathic dilutions of actual genetic connection. Thus, it is only natural that some series would at some point have an episode or two on the Emerald Isle.
Unfortunately, most people in Hollywood can't tell the difference between Ireland and Scotland
. Some, however, like to show that they did do the research
by showing Ireland as a separate country with its own customs. However, rather than have a look at what the place is actually like, they turn to British Series
made before political correctness came in. Hence, you end up with Oireland.
This trope goes waaaaaaaay back to at least the days of stage Irishmen
in eighteenth-century British theatre. Brought back to life by John Ford
in the iconic John Wayne
film The Quiet Man
— which is not a bad movie, and was well-meant by the staunchly Irish-American Ford. Also by his later and lesser-known triptych film The Rising Of The Moon
, made with the Abbey Theater players.
While elements of this character may also be seen in Southie
try to argue over whether Irish-Americans (or Irish-Canadians, for that matter) should be considered Irish. 'Twill nae end well.
Features of Oireland include:
- More sheep than the Land Down Under, even though most Irish farms were arable until the late 19th century, when a lot switched to cattle. Sheep farming only really happens on the bad land in the West (in the British Isles themselves this is much more of a Welsh stereotype).
- Overwhelmingly Catholic: you'd be hard pressed to find a reference to Ireland's sizable Protestant population in Oireland unless the story is explicitly about religion or The Troubles, still less the admittedly small Irish Jewish population, non-religious groups, or newer groups like the Irish Muslims. (This one is Truth in Television, somewhat.)
- This is partly their own fault. As Walter Bryan notes, it was a Protestant who wrote the song lauding the Good Old Oirish Priest "Father O'Flynn".
- The substitution of me for my, such as "This is me house." There is a bit of Truth in Television to this one.
- Everybody's name starts with "Mac", "Mc", or "O'". In reality, the most common surname in Ireland is "Murphy", which appears pretty frequently in fiction. The second most common is "Kelly", which doesn't. (And "Mac" or "Mc" is more common in Scotland than in Ireland.)
- Wrinkly auld farmers greet travellers with a hearty, "Top o' the moornin' to ye." While some stereotypes have some merit, this has absolutely none. No Irish person ever says "top o' the mornin'". EVER. Unless they're ridiculing those who think they do.
- Nobody says "yes." Instead, expect to hear, "aye" or something like, "Ah, to be shoor, to be shoor and begorrah." In truth, a relic of the native Gaeilge language (which does not have the words for "yes" and "no") has natives often express agreement by restating, such as: "Did you see the film?" "I did." "Is it good?" "It is."
- Another remnant of Irish Gaelic sentence structure is found in sentences like "It's a fool you are, Sean O'Flaherty." To get really technical, it's verb-subject-object. They usually don't go as far as ''Went I to the pub with O'Malley, a pint of Guinness to have", although this is quite proper; but you will hear that syntax in songs. (See below for notes on what kind of beer they really drink.)
- Friendly or flighty leprechauns frequently being caught in bushes. Irish folklore is very clear about just how nasty The Fair Folk really are.
- Brawling, usually good-naturedly, at the drop of a hat. The Irish are often portrayed as very passionate, quick to anger, but also quick to laugh and calm back down again.
- There are startlingly frequent jokes about beaten wives, especially in American depictions, where discrimination against Irish-Americans brought about stereotypes of drunkenness and violence.
- The wives often get back at the men one way or another.
- Red hair and the related pale, freckled skin, often paired with Green Eyes. Although green eyes are not particularly common, it is more common in Ireland than anywhere else. The stereotype is so ingrained that some people (mostly outside of Ireland) still argue that "black Irish", Irish people with dark hair, are descendants of Spanish Armada survivors or related to the Basque people, though genetic evidence largely goes against this.(Small, dark Irish people are more likely firbolg, descendants of native Picts.) Considering the vast majority of Irish people are dark haired this is a pretty ridiculous myth. It's the fair, red-haired Irish people who may have come from elsewhere, but this is still controversial and the subject of complex studies by ethnologists and linguists.
- Potatoes. Lots of potatoes. After their introduction from the Americas, the calorie-dense potatoes became the main diet of the Irish due to British policy reducing the size of family plots. Potatoes became permanently ingrained in Irish stereotypes when the The Irish Potato Famine caused a massive influx of Irish immigrants to America.
- Corned beef with cabbage: This is a cultural trait of Irish-Americans, learned from their Ashkenazi Jewish neighbors. In Ireland, people eat bacon and cabbage.
- Everyone lives on a farm or in a tiny village, with Dublin as the only major city. Cities like Cork, Limerick and Galway go completely unmentioned.
- Lots of Irish step dancing, which is often called Riverdance even though that's the title of one particular stage show that made it famous in America, though it is only loosely based on actual Irish step dancing.
- Music will tend to be traditional Irish music like that heard at a ceilí, and is almost always a jig or reel. If not that, it will probably be an Celtic punk band such as Flogging Molly, the Dropkick Murphys, or the Pogues, though many of these bands aren't actually Irish (though both Flogging Molly and the Pogues have at least one Irish member). Ireland is a modern country with plenty of modern music in its history, such as U2, Thin Lizzy and many more.
- Green clothing all around: green hats and vests, and sometimes green trousers as well. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle for its lush green pastures, so green is typically seen as Ireland's official color. Wearing green clothing, however, is strictly a St. Patrick's Day tradition among Irish-Americans. In Ireland, the Protestant ruling class (whose sectarian color was famously orange) once discriminated against Catholics by passing laws prohibiting "the wearin' o' the green."
- Oirish people are all poor, or at the very least come from a working-class background. This view was obviously caused by the mass migration of lower class Irish workers into American in the 19th century. From 1995 until roughly 2007, Ireland's economy became the booming Celtic Tiger with one of the highest standards of living in the world, though since then it's crashed hard.
- Post-Troubles, you may also get some form of reference to "the Hated British." Though in reality you're more likely to hear them referred to as "the Auld Enemy" and this is usually in relation to sporting rivalry rather than genuine animosity.
- Any Irish character in an action movie — good guy or bad guy — will be a former (or current) member of the IRA. There's about a 90% chance that they'll be an explosives expert.
- Gaeilge gan ghá. In reality, while Irish is designated as the national language, the language that most Irish people actually speak is English. Only 36% are fluent in Irish, while 94% are fluent in English. And most who speak both languages have English as their first language.
- Sentimentality. Lots and lots of sentimentality. In particular, when combined with a selection of the above the Oirish people are generally presented as a canny and friendly folk (the word 'quaint' tends to pop up a lot) with a cheerful song in their hearts and a mischievous twinkle in their eyes, expressing their simple-yet-wise philosophy that's as old as the hills and informed with the magic and mystery of the ages and the Fair Folk, just waiting for some poor outsider who's lost sight of the really important things in life that they can educate, and other such horribly trite cliches; think an Emerald Isle version of the Magical Negro. If you were to base your understanding of the Irish solely on the amount of times this rather over-sentimentalized depiction has popped up, the whole damn country can start to look rather insufferably twee.
- Everybody drinks Guinness to the point where it could have its own trope. In reality, lager and cider are far more popular in Ireland, especially amongst younger people, as is Irish pale/red ale (e.g. Smithwick's). Other brands of stout (such as Murphy's or Beamish) are ignored in fiction. That said, Guinness is popular in its Greater Dublin home, while Murphy's and Beamish are popular in western Ireland (hence the prominence of Guinness—non-Irish tend to ignore Cork).
The only one feature of Oireland that does resemble real Ireland is the huge reputation for drinking, particularly with Guinness. In truth, Ireland doesn't even have the highest average alcohol consumption in Europe; that honor goes to the Czech Republic (to be fair, Slavic stereotypes also echo this to some extent). And people in Ireland consume drinks other than Guinness. Indeed, beer and ale are actually transplants from England; the "traditional" Irish spirit is whiskey (and that's spelled with an "e," thank you, not "whisky" like Scottish stuff).note
See also Fake Irish
for when an 'Irish' character is being played by an American or British actor and may or may not be Oirish.
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Set in, or having episodes in, Oireland
- For most Americans, their first exposure to Oirishness comes via Lucky the Leprechaun, mascot for the breakfast cereal Lucky Charms, a particularly vile concoction that feels a bit like taking antacid medication in milk and, if left too long, eventually dissolves into bruise-coloured sludge. His cry of "They're always ahfter me Looky Chahrms!" has become a clarion call for all things Oirish in the States.
- Especially laughable as, aside from limited imports, Lucky Charms cereal is not even marketed in Ireland, or many areas at all outside the United States.
Anime and Manga
- A few chapters of Hellsing are set in Northern Ireland in what appears to be an abandoned factory in the fictional town of Badrick. This is where the first fight between Alucard and Anderson takes place. It's a reference to the religious disputes as the British, Protestant Hellsing forces, are there cleaning up a vampire attack, so the Vatican sends Anderson because Ireland is regarded as their territory, even though Northern Ireland is technically located in the United Kingdom.
- The funny thing about this is that Hellsing starts in the fall of 1998. The Good Friday Agreement was signed on April 10th, 1998, in Belfast, months before the altercation occurred. Granted, it really didn't take effect until December 2nd, 1999, but someone didn't send the Hellsing Organization and Section XIII the memo.
- Fractale has a slight amount of this going on- the main character lives in a very old fashioned faux-thatched cottage, despite the series being set hundreds of years in the future. This may just be to add to the already-copious Scenery Porn.
- Fiddle O'Diddle
- Being Northern Irish, Garth Ennis often explores the various iterations of this trope (and often ruthlessly makes fun of the more embarrassing, unrealistic or trite elements):
- In Judge Dredd, the entire nation has been turned into a giant theme park based on inauthentic stereotypes of past Irish life. An entire terrorist group exists solely to stop foreign tourism so there'll be "no more leprechaun suits... no more bejasus and begorrah... no more potatoes... no more eejits calling us quaint". Even the Irish terrorists are stereotyped; they plant bombs at several locations crucial to the tourism economy, and the one bomb that was a total dud was planted at the Guinness brewery. Oh, and the potatoes? Even those aren't real.
- Subverted in one arc of Hitman when Tommy visits Ireland. In a later flash-forward it's revealed there's a book about him that says while he was there he fought bravely alongside the IRA. The people that believe this are told by a real friend of Tommy that it's complete bollocks.
- The Medieval Spawn/Witchblade series, where an Irishman named Stalker kills a leprechaun. Stalker claims it was a mercy killing, since the leprechaun was badly hurt, but one minute earlier he was complaining loudly about how leprechauns contributes to Irish stereotypes.
- Also subverted again in The Boys with the Glaswegian Wee Hughie being mistaken for Irish (by a drunk "teenager" during a St Patrick's celebration). To try and get away from it (and other weirdness), he visits what seems to be the only bar around not floating in green beer, run by a tee-total Irishman who bemoans the "plastic paddy" image, throws out revelers wearing the green, and sells him a pint of Guinness with an obscenity written in the head.
- The Punisher has had two run-ins with the Irish bomber stereotype: the first where he goes to Belfast on the advice of an SAS friend of his (highlights include a guy two heads shorter than Frank calling him "wee man" then staring at his broken fingers in shock, and shooting up two opposed gang leaders and leaving an (empty) machine gun between the two), the other when a bunch of Irish-American mobsters start a gang war in New York over an inheritance (including a guy whose badly-timed bomb took off half his face and a dumbass who calls him a hero, then gets used by a Human Shield by him), only for them to be killed by said inheritance.
- Heavily lampshaded when Shade, the Changing Man visits an American film production shot on location in Ireland. Only one of the cast is shown to be Irish, the rest hired from around England, but all of them scoff at the ridiculousness of the film and their roles.
- In The DCU, Jack O'Lantern from the Global Guardians was an Irish superhero. Whenever he was shown in Ireland, it was in an idyllic green countryside dotted with small villages and inhabited by leprechauns and other fairies.
- Darby O'Gill and the Little People
- The Quiet Man, one of the most loving depictions of Oireland that you'll ever see.
- Also by John Ford, The Rising Of The Moon consists of three short plays based on stories by Irish writers, filmed entirely on location and starring the Abbey Players. "A Minute's Wait" is especially Oirish, with feisty train personnel, lots of drinking, repeated discomfiting of a stuffy British couple, storytelling, singing, dancing and the local hurley team.
- The Matchmaker, featuring an American (Janeane Garofalo) trying to do some genealogy for her boss in a town on the coast of Oireland. They play up the stereotypes, but there is also subversion, especially in scenes like the crotchety old bastard on Inis Mór who swears at the protagonists in Irish before letting them into a quite nice house, mentions that he already gave this information over the phone the previous night, and offers them a cappucino.
- PSI Love You, the film of the book by Cecilia Ahern- contains sheep, stone walls, rolling green hills, a rendition of Fairytale of New York after a funeral, and a cringe inducing Oirish accent by Gerard Butler, a man from Glasgow.
- Played jaw-droppingly straight in the Amy Adams romcom Leap Year - superstitious elderly rural locals spouting cliches, bar brawls, tiny villages, cattle-blocked roads, ceilí bands, claddagh rings... it's impossible to dislike a film with Amy Adams in the lead role but you'd never believe it was made in 2009. (It also has an imaginative approach to Irish geography - seemingly the fastest way to reach Dublin by boat from Wales is via Cork.)
- Possibly worse than Leap Year is the Eddie Griffen comedy Irish Jam that also starred Anna Friel. The story involves am African American winning an Irish pub in a raffle somehow and who then has to save the village from the clutches of an evil landlord. The film is filled with such hideously bad stereotypes of Ireland that it wasn't even filmed in Ireland and contained not a single Irish actor (Friel has an Irish father but was born and grew up in England.) Empire magazine reviewed it mentioning that "presumably, any attempts to mount stereotypes this broad in actual Ireland would lead to kneecappings and punishment-beatings"
- Far And Away, particularly Tom Cruise's side of the story. He's a poor, plucky, hard-fightin' Irish farmer with a beautiful seaside plot. A few scenes have brawling and drunkenness involved. Nicole Kidman's side, however, shows some of the lesser-seen gentility of Irish society. The Irish-Americans portrayed later are also classic Irish-American archetypes.
- You see some of this in the Cloncraig scenes of The Story Of Esther Costello. A bit more realistic version, showing grinding poverty, drenching rain, and pigs, not sheep. Esther was made blind and deaf in an explosion of stored weapons from "The Troubles" (1912-1922 version). The film even has Denis O'Dea as kindly old Father Devlin. Heather Sears (British) plays Esther with a soft Irish accent for her few lines at the very end. Esther's charity has shamrocks, girls in green outfits, and its theme song is a cheery version of "Wearing of the Green".
- The Secret Of Roan Inish: somewhat justified, as it's set in the late 1940s and in a community notable for its old-fashionedness. We briefly get to see other parts of Ireland, which are very industrial and modern
- William Shakespeare and his fellow Elizabethan dramatists were among the first to record the Oirish stereotype in literature, albeit in a markedly less affectionate form than its modern equivalent. Shakespeare describes the Irish as "rough, rug-headed kernes" with "bloudy devilish hand[s]". His notorious Oirish character, Mac Morris from Henry V, declares, "Of my nation! What ish my nation? Ish a villain, and a bastard, and a knave, and a rascal. What ish my nation? Who talks of my nation?" Presumably the Oirish stereotype then was that all Irish spoke like Sean Connery. This unflattering depiction is largely due to the fact that England was facing numerous uprisings from the native Irish population, something they obviously ensured would never, ever, ever, ever happen again.
- The Irish RM
- Castle Rackrent
- The whole book Sissi in Ireland by Claire Madras. Well, it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Pat O'Shea's children's book The Hounds of the Morrigan is mostly a genuinely well-written and atmospheric marrying of Irish myth and legend with modern characters - but for a few chapters it teeters dangerously on the bring of Disnified stage-Oirish. Having said this, it's the sort of children's book an adult can read and appreciate without shame.
- In Michael Flynn's The January Dancer, an entire planet models itself on the stereotype for the tourist trade, even though by the time humanity's that spread out this far, everyone's descended from everyone on Earth.
- Ray Bradbury, who actually lived in Ireland while working with John Ford on Moby-Dick, has several stories about Oireland and Oirish people.note Rain, drinking, rain, fighting, rain, grand storytelling, poems and songs, rain and Catholics are all present and accounted for. For some reason, all these stories involve a gentle but firm Gay Aesop.
- James Joyce's entire body of work both celebrates and deplores the tendency of Irish people to fulfill their own Oirish stereotypes, as well as giving you a grounding in where those stereotypes come from, along with turn-of-the-century Irish daily speech.
- Heavily averted in the Urban Fantasy Moonflowers. While the main setting is explicitly a tourist town by the Cliffs of Moher, there are quite a lot of ugly things lurking around: The Folk are noted to frequent the area—many townsfolk carry iron knives around and eat salt before going outside of the house, and The Wild Hunt is explicitly terrorizing the main protagonist and her family for petty amusement. Christian/pagan tensions are referred to a couple of times, and the constant homophobia that Owen O'Luain faces has reached violence at least twice—once in the backstory, when the town claimed he was half-Folk and tried to kill him guilt-free, and then in the main story when three people in Galway have heard of Owen's attack and try to finish the job.
- Father Ted: A deliberate Affectionate Parody written by two Irishmen. This is probably a factor in making the programme so wildly popular in Ireland. Rather than using foreign stereotypes of the Irish, the writers ramped up Truth in Television tropes and cultural stereotypes present within Ireland itself. Oireland tends to vary from painfully off-key to laughably bad, but this method created a spot-on hilarious caricature, making it arguably a subversion or outright aversion of this trope.
- ''Black Books", also co-written by Graham Linehan, has Irish Bernard Black as its main character. Played by Dylan Moran (who also co-wrote), the character's Irishness is not a big part of his character, but this trope is referenced on occasion by other characters. For example, American customers call him 'a Scotch man' in reference to the notorious vagueness many Americans have about the difference between Celtic cultures. On another occasion, Bernard's friend Fran makes up a traditional Irish song: '...And the English are alllll... bollocks.' The only particularly 'Oirish' thing about Bernard is his borderline alcoholism (and even there he drinks wine, not stout), and his use of particularly Irish phrasings (but probably not the sort you'd find in classic Oireland, e.g. 'oh, stick it up your hole'.
- EastEnders: They actually got into a bit of trouble over this.
- Star Trek: Voyager (semi-justified as it wasn't meant to be the real Ireland, but a literal Theme Park Version on the holodeck).
- Nonetheless displaying an astounding lack of cultural sensitivity on the part of the (usually pretty enlightened) Starfleet officers. Presumably Janeway was revealed to be of Irish descent (in the same episode) as an attempted justification (perhaps coincidentally Kate Mulgrew is herself an American of Irish descent.)
- The future of Star Trek is supposed to take place centuries after a major war that almost destroyed humanity. Most of their knowledge about the past (when a given episode's writer remembers that fact) is based on whatever books, photographs, films, etc. survived the war. In other words, it isn't just an example of this trope, it's the result of it too.
- This is not true in early (TOS) canon: Captain Kirk always speaks about how humanity narrowly averted this final war.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation, when the Enterprise rescues a threatened Oirish colony, the descendants of Space Luddites, none of whom are played by actual Irish actors. What real actual Irish cast member Colm Meaney made of it all is probably best left unexplored.
- Bless Me Father: the TV version of the short stories about priests living in 1950's London has the English actor Arthur Lowe cranking his accent and mannerisms Up Past Eleven in order to portray Father Duddleswell.
- Relic Hunter
- Murder, She Wrote had a couple of Officer O'Hara characters over the years, but the Oirish stereotypes were ramped up in The Celtic Riddle. When reviewing it on The Blizzard Of Odd, Colin Murphy noted that it had all the worst elements of "Diddly Ireland" mixed with South Central Los Angeles, culminating in the most ridiculous combination of both: The Drive-By-Swording.
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, in which the Easter Rising apparently lasted a few hours, as opposed to the six days it lasted in reality. Interestingly, this episode also offers a subversion where Indiana meets an Irishman who is reasonably pissed off about the Irish stereotypes that are played up for foreigners. Said pissed off Irishman turns out to be Seán O'Casey.
- Two episodes of The Adventures of Robin Hood
- The beginning of Heroes Season 2. When Peter ends up in Ireland, with no idea of how he got there, he is found by an Irish 'brotherhood.' Each member of this brotherhood has a Celtic tattoo, and Peter is welcomed in eventually. The main Irishman (Ricky) runs an stereotypical Irish pub, and steals goods from the docks, with the rest of the brotherhood. Throw in bad accents, belonging to the opposite end of the country, and tight shirts for that authentic Oirish feel. Many of the actors were British. They rob some money (for "soccer") from a stadium which is comprised of dollars, and have a shootout with the "police" (the Gardaí do not carry firearms). They also do not pronounce Caitlín in the traditional Irish way.
- The entire point of Killinaskully is to play up this trope for all it's worth.
- There's an episode of Jeeves and Wooster in which Gussie and Spode are hired to play a pair of stage Irishmen named Pat and Mike for the village talent show. They put on woolly green beards and wave around umbrellas. Gussy really can't do the accent - in the short story the episode is based on, he actually points out how ridiculous it is, saying he's never met an Irishman who speaks or acts like this - and Spode doesn't even bother. Much like the episode with the blackface minstrels, it managed to avoid being offensive just by being utterly ludicrous.
- Sons of Anarchy: the gang has a strong alliance with the IRA, which is how they receive their guns for distribution in America. One season has the gang visit Belfast and get mixed up in an intra-IRA feud. One of the leaders of the IRA is shown to be a Badass Grandpa Catholic priest who holds his own in a fistfight. There's also quite a lot of drinking amongst the Irish, though not any more than the Americans. It's also pointed out that some of the Sons are Protestant, with one the son of an Orangeman. Though the greatest crime against Ireland may be the awful fake accents.
- And let's not even get started on the assumption that all Irish radio stations play nothing but traditional Irish folk or Dropkick Murphys - style heavy metal / folk hybrids.
- Played for laughs in a sketch on Saturday Night Live when Liam Neeson guest-starred in 2004, in a sketch called "Ya Call This A House, Do Ya?", a parody of speedy home improvement shows like Extreme Makeover Home Edition. "Buildin' Finn McQuinn" and his team sent Neeson's character down the pub while they basically moved furniture around and drank beers. It was Actually Pretty Funny, mostly thanks to Neeson being a great sport.
- The 'Irish R.M.' had a series adaptation (actually very good, and this comes from a half-Irishman), which skits, parodies, plays seriously and generally messes around with pre-independence (late Victorian until 1910) Ireland - in the little Irish town of Skebawn everyone is either drunk, or about to sell you a dud horse. The only tune played is 'Haste to the Wedding', and Irishmen are either lovable scamps or ruffians. However, it is actually kind hearted - the Irish villains are non-existent, the most unlikable characters are English (e.g. Lady Knox, when set against an Irish 'villain' like Tom Sheehy or Slipper. One of the main characters is Irish (in the twinkly-eyed scamp tradition) against the English straight-man, shebeens, pig's trotters, poteen and the like is trooped out mercilessly, but it is not at all malicious - quote [Slipper the groom] 'The English and the Irish understand each other like the fox and the hound,' [Lady Yeates] 'But which is which?' [Slipper] 'Ah well, if we knew that, we'd know everything!'. There is a Catholic Nationalist canon, and Roman Catholicism is skitted (the redoubtable Mrs Cadogan (pronounced kay-de-GAWN) is an example), but rather like Jeeves and Wooster, it avoids being offensive.
- Discussed in the Drink to Britain series of Oz And James. While in Ireland, James criticizes what he calls "cod Oirishness" for the tourists, and taunts Oz with it when Oz claims to be part Irish; James thinks he's only doing so to make himself more interesting. It's subverted later on; when in a small village, Oz runs into a cousin who confirms Oz's mother actually is Irish, much to James's irritation.
- Basil Hood's operetta "The Emerald Isle" (score begun by Sullivan, finished by Edward German) takes this Up to Eleven, underlined in the songs "I'm descended from Brian Boru" and "Have you met a man in debt" (sentimental) and "If you wish to pass as an Irish type" (lampshading the sterotypes); and the chorus repeatedly reminds us that "Saint Patrick was a broth of a boy." However, English snobbery is also skewered. The Lord Lieutenant's idea of "civilizing" the Irish is bribing people to recite "The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck".
- Resoundingly averted in John Bull's Other Island by George Bernard Shaw, which seeks to awaken Broadbent (in the play) and the audience (in the Preface) to the utter wrongness of the stereotypes. "Melancholy Celtic race! That sort of thing does more harm than ten Coercion Acts!"
- Both played straight and subverted in the first Broken Sword game. Both played straight in that the Irish village you visit features a lot of folk music and hard drinking stereotypes; subverted in that the characters are NOT impressed by being greated with a 'Top of the morning to yeh' and references to 'The Little People'.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), in the episode "The Irish Jig is Up".
- The animation of this series was actually produced by Fred Wolf Films Dublin at the time
- Family Guy: Peter finds out that his real father is an Irishman, and heads to "McSwiggen Village, where the hills are green, the streams are clear, and the sweaters are so thick, even the boniest-fingered nun could poke you in the chest and it wouldn't bother you none!" The pub is called Wifey McBeaty's and Peter's father is the town drunk, which is an honored position in Irish society.
- They lampshade the trope thus
Stewie: Did we mention all the political, economic, and religious disputes that have torn Ireland apart for decades?
Brian: Nope. We made them a bunch of drunken redheads.
Stewie: Ah. Groundbreaking.
- The Belfast sequence from the Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "If It's Doomsday, It Must Be Belfast" was quite possibly the single most offensive example of both this trope and The Troubles , making the struggle between Catholics and Protestants look like The Jets against The Sharks. Highlights can be seen here. (And the comments. Dear God, the comments.)
- Parodied by Monkey Dust - a young man walks into a pub and sees the new landlord wearing an absurd leprechaun costume. When he asks why, he is told that it is now an "Oirish" pub. When he asks what happened to the previous landlord, who was Irish, he is told that he wasn't "Oirish" enough.
- Not to mention the movie of the "true story" of "Patrick O'Dobsky" (Ivan Dobsky).
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: In "The Last Leprechaun", Chip & Dale meet a mischievous, green-clad leprechaun king, a banshee named Druella O'Midas, and learn that rainbows do indeed end in leprechauns' pots of gold.
- An episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, set on St Patrick's Day, and with Oirish characters so superstitious and credulous they believed Jade was a leprechaun. Ireland in this example also appears quite modern with the same characters watching a soccer match on TV. Then again, they were right about the cursed emerald....
- The Simpsons does this every so often:
- The most egregious example may be In the Name of the Grandfather, which has our favorite family being guilted by Grandpa into taking him to one last booze-up at an old pub he frequented during the war. In flashbacks, Grandpa describes it as a typical Oirish pub, with taps for Guinness, cabbage and corned beef (which isn't even Irish, as noted above), and sheep aplenty, also during one scene you can see two references to Celtic FCnote seen here◊. The episode is a deconstruction of the trope as the town has become a bustling, modern metropolis where no one has time to go drinking. The trope was reconstructed near the end, when Homer and Grandpa unwittingly buy the pub, allow indoor smoking (which was banned in Ireland in 2004), and business picks up. It was too good to last, for in true sitcom fashion, the police shut them down and deport them back to America. Ironically, this episode was broadcast as Ireland was entering a recession.
- Despite being set in the Republic of Ireland, the episode made some cultural mistakes. In one scene, Marge and the kids visit the "Giant's Causeway" landmark except it's located in Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. Another is the Irish Police uniforms and vehicles in the episode look more like their Northern Ireland counterparts especially with the english word "Police" written on their uniforms and vehicles when it should be the Irish word "Garda".
- The trope is even more subverted when the typically Oirish pubkeeper, played by genuine Irishman Colm Meany (Star Trek: The Next Generation), tries to serve Grandpa a drink. First, he offers an Australian wine. When Grandpa then insists on an Irish drink, the barkeep complies, sarcastically giving him a shot of Bushmill's, stuck in a potato, which is floating in a pint of Guinness, all called out in an exaggerated Oirish accent. Once again, Grandpa, exasperated, insists on an Irish drink. The barkeep spits into the Bushmill's, and Grandpa is finally satisfied.
- Other episodes set in or around Saint Patrick's Day have always tended to play up the Troubles, usually with some English establishment being blown up, before drunken Oirishmen (or faux-Oirishmen, for as Kent Brockman says, St. Patrick's Day is the day when "everyone's a little bit Irish, except, of course, for the gays and the Italians") begin rioting.
- In Sex, Pies And Idiot Scrapes, a St Patrick's day parade turns into a city riot when Nationalist Irish and the Unionist Northern Irish paraders (led by a Green and Orange Leprechaun respectively) get into a fight. Seeing this, Bart comments "Where's the IRA when you need them?" which caused a bit of controversy in Britain since it's still a sensitive subject. An ex-IRA tells Bart the IRA has put aside "the way of the gun and bomb" and seeks peaceful means of reunification. Then, an English-style Double-Decker bus rolls by, complete with a large Union Jack on the side. His wistful remark is "Yeah, in the olden days, we'd be all over that."
- Grandpa: "Who kicked the Irish out in aught-four? I did, that's who!"/Oirishman (complete with green vest and derby and shillelagh): "And a foine job ye did, too."
- The same Oirishman appeared in Whacking Day, when it was explained that the holiday had started as "an excuse to beat up the Irish".
- "Oi took many a lump! But 'twas all in good fun."
- Played straight in Treehouse of Horror XII; when Homer gets the family cursed, he and Bart catch a leprechaun, a nasty, hateful and vulgar leprechaun, which proceeds to cause nothing but ruckus for the household.
- The Smurfs Season 9 episode "Shamrock Smurfs" has them appearing on the Emerald Isle, where the only thing they have to eat are potatoes. Greedy tries to serve them a shamrock stew, but upon his first taste of the stew he becomes a leprechaun and starts harassing the other Smurfs with his mischievous pranks. The rest of the episode is about the Smurfs trying to catch Greedy so that they can turn him back into a normal Smurf before sundown, or else he would end up as a leprechaun forever.
Anime and Manga
- Siryn, Banshee, and Black Tom in X-Men often lapse into this, depending on the writer.
- The hero, Shamrock, from Marvel Comics is from Ireland and is the main hero there until she retired to become a hairdresser. Her power, likewise, is luck manipulation, which, in an origin that is both extremely badass in its source and somewhat less impressive in its execution, she gains by channeling the spirits of innocent victims of war.
- Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness:
- Seamus Finnegan gets turned into this, JK Rowling has said that naming the character "Seamus Finnegan" was pushing it a bit, but Thanfiction takes the Irish stereotype Up to Eleven. Example:
"Tell you what. You say one word, and I'll make it worth your while. I've smuggled in a bit of the real good stuff – Muggle-made Irish pure – and I'll slip you a tot. Or if you'd rather, I'll work my charms and score you a kiss from that lovely Miss MacDonald you've been castin' eyes at all year. What say you?" DAYD, (Chapter 11).
- Now consider that he didn't have anything resembling that thick an accent in canon. Oh, and he knows Druidic rituals, as well.
- Even worse, Slaugh has several sequences in an Ireland torn and devastated by the Troubles... even though it takes place three years after the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For those who don't know the Harry Potter timeline, Deathly Hallows takes place in 1998, the year the Good Friday Agreement was signed; while it's ridiculous to say that brought an immediate end to all the fighting, the story doesn't seem to realize there was any sort of action at all.
- Molly O'Flannigan, Yuki-Rin's sister, from One Piece: Parallel Works, despite the fact there is no Oireland-type country in the One Piece world. A flashback during the Baleeira Porto Arc revealed that before the Celestial Dragons killed Molly's parents and then forced Molly into Yuki-Rin's against her will, her parents owned a pub.
- The trope becomes Invoked in the Erin Island Arc, where the Capricorn Pirates visited Molly's home island, which is heavily based off of Ireland.
- Subverted in Power Rangers GPX, with the Irish Blue Ranger Kevin O'Donnell, who speaks very clearly and does not have much of a temper. It's mocked in an alternate universe version where Kevin says that he's never lived in a thatched-roof house his entire life (He's from Dublin).
- Tapper Smurf in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf wears this trope as the village's bartender who just happens to be Christian. He averts the Fighting Irish trope, though, leaving it to his Brave Scot friend Duncan McSmurf.
- Séamus McFly in the third Back to the Future movie. His brother Martin fits the Fighting Irish trope, which serves as a cautionary tale he tells his descendant Marty McFly under the guise of Clint Eastwood.
- Mad Stephen from Braveheart.
- Victor Mclaglen's characters of Sgt Mulcahy and Sgt Quincanon in John Ford's Cavalry Trilogy films are the drinking & brawling variety. In SheWoreAYellowRibbon, a half dozen soldiers couldn't force him into the guard house, but a stern scolding from the CO's wife could.
- Mad Sweeny, the Irish-American leprechaun from American Gods, loves to fight. He has lost the accent though, as he's been in the US too long. He's also something like 7 feet tall.
- Padan Fain from The Wheel of Time books is effectively this, despite being from a different cycle of time and never having heard of Ireland. His dialogue is as Oirish as you can get without actually using the word "Begorrah". At least in the early appearances.
- The bats in the Rats, Bats and Vats series are almost an invocation of the trope; they had Irish revolutionary songs downloaded into the implants in their heads, and it shows.
- Freckles of Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, despite being born and raised in Chicago, shows many of the tropes. Including an Irish accent. And his family name is O'More.
- Used in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with a little bit of tongue-in-cheek parody. Ireland are playing in the Qudditch World Cup and so series regular Seamus Finnigan (and his mother) are staying in a green tent draped with shamrocks. And the Ireland team have leprechauns as their mascot and wear green robes to play in.
- Otherwise played with in terms of Seamus himself. Although some of his dialogue has the odd 'me' instead of 'my' in there (and Stephen Fry and Jim Dale's narration on the audio books goes to town with it), he avoids most Irish stereotypes. He has a bit of a temper but is blond rather than red-haired.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation managed to have a 19th century tribe of Space Oirish in the episode "Up the Long Ladder".
- They went a long way to making up for that travesty with the character of Miles O'Brien (played by Irish actor Colm Meaney) who then went on to be a main character on DS9.
- They also had the episode "Sub Rosa", in which Dr. Crusher's grandmother dies on a planet settled by more Space Oirish (Who were supposed to be Space Scottish, but, y'know) and there's a Virtual Ghost.
- Angel from Angel is this to a degree.
- While she doesn't use an accent, Fiona from Burn Notice otherwise very much plays to American stereotypes by being a violent, totally chaotic ex-terrorist. She's also played by a British actress (Gabrielle Anwar). After the pilot (where she used an accent that would give most Dubliners an aneurysm), she adopted an American accent, ostensibly to better blend in, though it slips on occasion.
- Mr. O'Reilly, the lazy, incompetent Irish construction worker on Fawlty Towers. Played by David Kelly, an actual Irishman, which makes it a bit better.
- A young Lyndy Brill (Catherine Hargreaves in Grange Hill) played the daughter of an Irish terrorist involved in The Troubles in The Sweeney. Her Oirish accent would make a real Irish teenage girl cringe.
- Seamus Finnegan from The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin is initially presented as an Oirish sterotype; an ill-educated labourer "from the land of bogs and potatoes" discovered quaffing Guiness in a pub whilst wondering what to gamble on next who's hired by the protagonist as his admin officer in an attempt to sabotage his own company. As soon as the scruffy Irishman hits the boardroom he's shown to have an absolute genius for management.
- Charmed features leprechauns in a few episodes. Their land is very much like The Theme Park Version of what Ireland is imagined like - green fields and rainbows everywhere. Their spells are even traditional Irish sayings. The leprechauns indeed say things like "top of the morning" and "laddie".
- The IT Crowd has lazy, lovelorn Butt Monkey Roy as one of the main characters.
- Capcom's unreleased Kingpin has a gangster named Pat O'Bunion, who plays this trope straight.
Pat: "Ah, there y'are, laddie. Take the right loop, then the left loop, then deliver these packages 'round back, ye follow me naw?"
- Knuckles O'Brian from The Champion Pub plays to the "fighting Irish" stereotype.
"Top of my fist to you, lad. I'm O'Brien."
- His name is Finlay... and he loves to fight (particularly grating as he was from, and was billed as such, Belfast, in Northern Ireland!) He even gained a leprechaun sidekick in Hornswoggle.
- UPW Ultimate University Graduate, the green haired "Drunken Irishman".
- Sheamus, the "Celtic Warrior", who has the usual pale skin and has bright red hair. He avoids the usual dodgey Oirish accent though, when he's a bone fide Dubliner. In fact, Sheamus specifically wanted to avoid the typical Irish stereotypes. The fact that he's Irish is usually not mentioned beyond the Celtic Warrior Red Baron and the fact that he is the first Irish-born WWE champion, and his characterization tends to lean way more toward what "Celtic Warrior" sounds like.
- Becky Lynch (formerly known as Rebecca Knox) debuted on NXT with this kind of gimmick, complete with jigging, dyed red hair and bright green attire. Fan reactions to this were incredibly negative and within a month she had traded the character for a mosh pit Genki Girl instead. The only indicators of her being Irish are the red hair and Dublin as a hometown.
- The Fianna of Werewolf: The Apocalypse could easily cross into this territory. Descendants of Finn Maccumhail? Check. Known for their soulful bards? Check. Also known for their angry warriors? Check. It really didn't help that a lot of early books in the line talked about possible ties to the IRA. And their main Caerns are picked out of tourist books and bang in the middle of a popular tourist location - the non-celtic world heritage site Brú na Bóinne. They're also known for their magic booze.
- Older Than Steam: Macmorris from Henry V by William Shakespeare.
- Finian from Finians Rainbow hails from Glocca Morra, which is based on "pixified fancies" of Ireland. Upon planting his crock of gold in the soil of the Deep South, he finds out a leprechaun has followed him there all the way from Ireland. That Glocca Morra is a fictitious locale is admitted in the play's final scene:
Finian: Farewell, me friends. I'll see you all some day in Glocca Morra.
Woody: Sharon, where is Glocca Morra?
Sharon (mysteriously): There's no such place, Woody. It's only in Father's head.
- Aran Ryan in Punch-Out!! He isn't all that stereotypical though. He was a fairly generic fighter in Super Punch-Out!! but Punch-Out: Wii decided to make him completely fucking insane.
- Red Dead Redemption gives us "Irish". The only reason John Marston tolerates his drunk, nun threatening ass is because Irish can supply him with a Gatling gun. (In his defence, he thought they was doxies.) On the other hand, he's one of the rare black-haired Irishmen in fiction.
- Roy McManus from Shadow Hearts From The New World. An ill-tempered, violent and power hungry Irish gang boss, McManus tried to seize up Chicago while Capone was locked in Alcatraz. He also had a most unrequited crush on Capone's sister Edna that led him to kidnap her. Sadly for both of them, Edna did not return his feelings and an enraged McManus pulled a gun and shot her dead.
- The Suffering: Ties That Bind boasts an Irish Foundation soldier who promptly shouts 'Jaysus!' every 2-3 seconds. And boasts a deliciously Oirish accent the rest of the time.
- Atlas, your Mission Control from BioShock. He later turns out to be a fake persona cooked up by Frank Fontaine, who is American. There's an implication he took the idea from posters for "Patrick and Moira", a play taking place in Rapture just before the shit hit the fan - notice what Atlas's wife and son are named.
- The protagonist of The Saboteur, Sean Devlin, is sadly a perfect storm of Oirish stereotypes. His accent, allegedly that of a man from Belfast, is not even close to the mark. Unsurprisingly he's voiced by an English actor. Much of his speech involves faux slang such as "top o' the morning", "to be sure" and various other turns of phrase no man from Belfast (or Ireland for that matter) has ever uttered. And finally Devlin is of course an explosives expert with a love of violence, womanizing and excessive drinking.
- Jack O'Hara of the Commandos series is a violent, undisciplined Blood Knight who punched out a superior officer. The only thing keeping him out of prison is his service in the Commandos. However, the stereotypes end there: In combat, he's an efficient soldier who is capable of wiping out German regiments single handed and will always get the job done, doesn't say stereotypical Oirish things and he isn't even the resident alcoholic (The Diver, who is Australian, holds that distinction).