Irish supporters - © Paolo Bona

“Proud to be irish”: understanding Irish pride

Irish supporters - © Paolo Bona

You see it all over Ireland. It’s “Proud to be irish” on tourist key rings, T-shirts and caps, on St. Patrick’s Day in the crowded streets of Irish towns, on decorative panels in pubs, or in patriotic songs chanted loud and clear… Let it be said: in Ireland, patriotic pride is alive and well. People are proud of their country, attached to its culture, history and identity. But where does this Irish pride come from? Let’s take a look back at the reasons why the Irish people praise their nationality!

The Irish, patriots at heart

A tumultuous collective history that has brought solidarity to the Irish people

Ireland is a country that has had a rather troubled history over the centuries. The island has indeed known war, foreign invasions (Vikings and British), repression of their Gaelic culture, poverty, famine, and forced exodus to the United States in search of a better world. Add to this the Civil War, then the War of Independence in the 20th century, the creation of the Republic of Ireland, and the “loss” of Northern Ireland to the British, and you get a glimpse of Ireland’s stormy history…

What to remember? The Irish have rather drooled in their history. There have been many conflicts, a lot of human losses… and a state of poverty that was only reabsorbed during the 90’s/2000.

This situation has led the Irish population to unite. United in an act of resilience, the majority of the population seems proud of the road travelled and saw in the creation of the Republic of Ireland, the opportunity to reaffirm their values, their identity, and their culture.

That’s what makes us so proud to be Irish.

Proud to be irish: a state of mind, and a host of symbols that flow from it!

But beware: this patriotic feeling is not only the history of the Irish nation. The Irish also like to sell themselves as a cheerful, philosophical, party-loving, family-loving, hard-working and simple people.

So they have created a kind of identity type, where the “average” Irish person has many human qualities, which make him immediately cool and sympathetic to other nationalities!

And of course the pride of living on a beautiful, wild and unspoilt island.

Ireland has made all this into a brand image. The “Proud to be Irish” has therefore become a patriotic phrase, but also a real commercial slogan, which contributes to the good cultural and tourist image of Ireland.

And this image is exported all over the world, as far as the United States, where the strong American-Irish community never ceases to claim its membership of Ireland!

In this way, all Irish folk symbols become patriotic messages, proudly displayed on the planet. Green colour, leprechaun, harp, sheep, Irish beer, clover, green, white and orange tricolour flag… Many symbols accompany the slogan “Proud to be irish”! So many symbols that have become the emblem of an entire country!

Irish St. Patrick’s Day: Ireland’s national day to celebrate pride in being Irish!

Even though Irish symbols are quite recurrent throughout the year, this is nothing compared to St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day is a day of excesses for the Irish. Festive excesses that have only one aim: to proclaim loud and clear that they belong to Ireland, to celebrate its history, its identity and its people!

Also, a St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland (and in the United States), is one of the most unmissable experiences to live if you want to get in touch with the Irish people. Icing on the cake: the Irish welcome everyone to this day! It doesn’t matter what nationality you are, whether you are Irish or not: the locals welcome with open arms all those who wish to celebrate Ireland with them! A superb state of mind, which usually results in memorable celebrations!

So much more to discover...