Ireland is one of the most unique countries in Europe, located at the westernmost part of the continent on an island west of Britain. The Irish people are known for retaining their pre-Catholicism roots in the modern era. If you visit the many parts of Ireland, you will notice strong Celtic influences in its festivals.
And just like other countries, there are also a lot of misconceptions about Ireland, especially from those unfamiliar, or who have only seen a glimpse of the country and its culture.
This article will discuss some of the most common myths and misconceptions about Ireland.
Ireland is Part of the UK
The statement is true, but only to a certain level. The whole island to the west of Britain is called Ireland and is divided into two: north and south Ireland.
North Ireland is part of the UK. On the other hand, the part of Ireland to the south, called the Republic of Ireland, is not part of the UK. It is its own country, with its own government, and sovereignty.
For many centuries, the whole island had been under British rule. It is only in the ‘20s that the southern part of the island got its independence from Britain, although it had been asserting itself for far longer than that.
The Irish Love Drinking and Merrymaking
Let’s face it, aside from the mythical leprechaun from Irish folklore, another thing that the Irish are famous for is drinking. And although it is true that the Irish love to drink at their numerous pubs, a place to meet and socialize with people, they are not the highest consumers of alcohol in the world.
According to the World Population Review, as of 2021, Ireland is not even part of the top 10 countries that are the highest consumers of alcohol. Compared to other countries like Tunisia, Maldives, South Africa, and Turkey, Ireland is pretty tame with alcohol consumption.
Also, did you know that getting so drunk, to the point of being a danger to oneself and other people is an offense in Ireland? You could even get arrested for it.
All Irish People Have Red Hair
Many people unfamiliar with Ireland and its people have this image that the majority of the Irish population has red hair. As of 2017, only 10% of the Irish population have red hair. There are more redheads in other countries than in Ireland. In Scotland, 13% of its population has red hair. The US has the most number of redheads in the world, around 18 million Americans.
Although there’s nothing wrong with having red hair, history has shown how the misconceptions about redheads have negatively affected them. Some common ones include not having any soul, or that they practice witchcraft, and so on. Although many people do not believe those misconceptions now, some people still get teased about their ginger hair.
Many of the myths and misconceptions about Ireland may seem wholesome and even fun. However, if you’re planning to visit the country, it would be better to explore the country and learn about its people on your own and without any biases or judgment.
Learn more about the Emerald Isle by checking out MSM Unify’s articles.