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Gussie: 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 You Screw One Goat or 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.

While elements of this character may also be seen in Southies, never try to argue over whether Irish-Americans (or Irish-Canadians, for that matter) should be considered Irish. You'll be sorry.

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.)
  • The substitution of me for my, such as "This is me house."
  • 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.
    • The insistence that "Mc is Irish and Mac is Scottish". This is utter hogwash. Both prefixes are used in both countries and have been since written records of surnames began. It's not unusual when going through an Irish genealogy to find the spellings alternating in succeeding generations, interspersed with the occasional "M'" and "Mag". The proliferation of both suffixes in both Ireland and Scotland might have something to do with the Scots having some early medieval Irish tribes among their ethnic ancestry.
  • 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.
  • Nobody says yes. Instead, expect to hear, "Ah, to be shoor, to be shoor and begorrah".
    • It's reasonably common though to express agreement by restating, rather than with "Yes": "Did you see the film?" "I did." "Is it good?" "It is." This originated as a feature of the native Gaeilge language, in which restating the verb of the question in the positive or negative tense is the only way to say yes or no. Also, you are more likely to hear someone say "Sure" or "Aye" for "yes" if they do answer in such a way.
  • Friendly leprechauns frequently being caught in bushes. Irish folklore is very clear about just how nasty The Fair Folk really are. Irish people tend to be very Genre Savvy about fairy tales.
  • Brawling, usually good-naturedly, at the drop of a hat. This is a bit of a Forgotten Trope: the hair-trigger temper of Irishmen used to be a lot more common in stereotypes. See, for example, the Notre Dame University "Fightin' Irish", whose mascot is even a leprechaun with fists bared. Don't worry about Irish pub brawls, though--improbably, no one is ever injured.
    • More darkly, there are startlingly frequent jokes about beaten wives, especially in American depictions for some reason. In Ireland itself, spousal abuse is treated no more casually than anywhere else in the West — perhaps less, considering that it was banned under the Brehon Laws that were used by Ireland for over a thousand years — and this stereotype is mostly unknown.
  • Red hair all around and, if female, paired with Green Eyes. It's true that Irish people are more likely to be green-eyed than most non-Irish people, but it's still not terribly common. See this study (admittedly based on Americans of European descent). Fairly few TV writers have heard of "black Irish", which is to say, Irish people with dark hair. (Some stories claim that they are descendants of Spanish Armada survivors or related to the Basque people, though genetic evidence largely goes against this.)
    • Don't forget freckles and pale skin. This is closer to Truth in Television; Irish people tend to sunburn pretty easily.
    • References to the "black Irish" do come up — but usually only as a punchline to explain a person with black skin and an Irish accent (similar to the terms Black British and its more PC cousin African American.) Every now and then it becomes clear the writers actually think that's what the phrase means.
  • Potatoes. Lots of potatoes. Taters. Admittedly, for a long time potatoes were the main diet of the Irish (due to British policy reducing the size of family plots), and when there was a terrible Potato Famine in 1845-50, many people starved--one million dead, to be exact--or emigrated to the Americas. For more details, see The Other Wiki.
  • Corned beef with cabbage (see the Simpsons example below): this is unknown in Ireland (except for a spam-like lunch meat, which is a different thing). Corned beef is an Irish-American invention, a piece of cuisine for the poor which they learned from eastern European Jewish immigrants in the slums of the big cities of the United States. In Ireland, people actually eat bacon and cabbage.
    • First generation American Irish took up corned beef because beef is very culturally important — second generation Irish regarded it as what poor people ate, somewhat like Spam in American pop culture.
  • 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 inexplicably referred to as "Riverdance" even though that is the title of ONE Irish dancing stage show that started in 1994, and which bears roughly the same resemblance to reality as Caesar's Palace does to Ancient Rome. It's like referring to all anime as Yu-Gi-Oh!.
  • The only music heard anywhere (especially if it's played live, in a pub or) will be traditional Irish music like that heard at a ceilí, and is almost always a jig or reel. Ignoring the fact that there are, indeed, Irish rock bands (like, oh yeah, U2, My Bloody Valentine, Flogging Molly, Horslips, Therapy?, Aslan, Damien Rice, BellX1, Boomtown Rats, Thin Lizzy, Imelda May, The Cranberries, etc.), traditional music is not much played outside local festivals and events. Just lots of The Pogues.
  • Green clothing all around: green hats and vests, and sometimes green trousers as well. It is, indeed, a St. Patrick's Day (or Paddy's Day) tradition to sport as many green articles of clothing as possible. The Protestant ruling class in Ireland (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 ceased to be Truth in Television from 1995 until roughly 2007, when Ireland's economy became the booming Celtic Tiger with one of the highest standards of living in the world; since then, though, it's crashed hard.
  • Post-Troubles, you may also get some form of reference to "the Hated British."
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

The only one feature of Oireland that does resemble real Ireland is the huge reputation for drinking. But then, people get drunk everywhere. But 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).[1]

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.

Examples of Oireland include:

Set in, or having episodes in, Oireland

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.

Comic Books

  • Fiddle O'Diddle
  • 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.
    • Created during Garth Ennis' run on Judge Dredd. He makes a habit of this kind of thing.
  • Subverted in Hitman by Garth Ennis. Tommy visits Ireland in one arc. 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.
  • 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.


  • Ryans Daughter although heavily averted by the general darkness of tone, strong casting and performances, and the absolutely wonderful camerawork. The storm scene alone is only equalled by the storm scenes in Master and Commander. On the other hand its absolutely rife with Unfortunate Implications from the likable characters being entirely played foreign actors (rather obviously in Rosy's case) to the highly sympathetic view of the British soldiers (compare how the film portrays them to the portrayl of the IRB.)
  • Darby O Gill and The Little People
    • Though this might be forgiven for the sheer hysterical sight (and sound) of Sean Connery singing.
  • Rather bizarrely averted in the Jackie Chan film The Medallion. The film is set and filmed in Ireland but the villain is English, as are the love interest and Jackie's sidekick (who apparently live and work in Ireland in a large Interpol office entirely staffed by British agents - the Irish police are not mentioned). The sidekick has a Chinese wife and the villain's henchman is African. There is not one named, speaking character in the entire film who is Irish. None of this is ever explained or even acknowledged.
  • The Quiet Man, one of the most loving depictions of Oireland that you'll ever see.
  • 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 Gaelic 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.
  • P.S. I 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.)
    • The cattle blocking the road is Truth in Television. I've had cows block the roads a few times when I drove through Cork.
    • Apparently the female's lead cell phone brings down the power grid for an entire rural Irish village. FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
  • 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"
  • Waking Ned Devine is set on a small island off the coast of the Irish mainland. The town has a population of 52, a beloved village priest, a pig farmer, a pub as the town's informal meeting place (characters repeatedly say that if they won the lottery, "There would have been a mighty party,"), and a general air of absolute innocence. As it's actually an Irish-made film with an Irish cast (including David Kelly of Fawlty Towers fame), there's an acknowledgement that not all of Ireland is like this: one of the major characters is a middle-class fellow from Dublin, who works for the lottery company.
  • Averted in Badly Drawn Roy, which almost entirely takes place in a normal-looking suburb of Dublin. In addition, the whole cast is Irish as well as the groups that funded and commissioned it.


  • 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.

Live-Action TV

  • Father Ted: Interestingly, it was written by two Irishmen.
    • The Lovely Girls show was a bit Oirish, but that was a parody of the real-life Rose of Tralee.
    • 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 in Ireland itself. Oirland tends to vary from painfully off-key to laughably bad, but this method created a spot-on, hilarious caricature.
  • Ballykissangel
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Relic Hunter
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • 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 Irish pub, and steals goods from the docks, with the rest of the brotherhood. Throw in bad accents and tight shirts for that authentic Oirish feel.
    • The Oirish actors are obviously British but they wear flat caps, so they must be Oirish - right?
    • Also mandatory is a pub, which resembles any kind of "Paddy o'Smellies' Bucket" type cheesy chain pub found around the world. Pubs in Ireland do not look like this.
    • The lack of research and Oireland trope reached a sort of singularity when the brotherhood rob a case of betting money (for "soccer") from a stadium...which is comprised of dollars, and was guarded by a security guard who was armed (in Ireland, not even the police carry firearms, never mind a random security guard). They Just Didn't Care indeed.
      • They, er, fixed the problem by essentially Chuck Cunningham-ing the lot of them by the next season. They basically just disappeared and were never mentioned again, including Caitlin, with whom we were supposed to believe Peter was in love, acting as his motivation for many of his actions. Um...
      • Note that when large sums of money move around in Ireland, especially bank deliveries, they are often guarded by the Army, who have plenty of guns.
      • Also, specialized segments of the Gardaí do carry guns. The real issue would be finding a soccer game to bet on in Ireland. (What Americans call soccer is known as soccer in Ireland. Gaelic football is one of the most popular sports in Ireland and soccer was for a very long time looked down upon as horribly English, which was a bad thing to be.)
    • Add in the jarring mispronunciation of the Irish name Caitlín.
  • 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: In some places averted, since the episodes of the show taking place in Belfast were obviously set in a big city, and were mostly about gunrunning. The only "farm" seen throughout the arc was used as a stash house and quickly blown up. The religious aspect (everyone's a Catholic) was played alarmingly straight, though, (Except for those members who were specifically pointed out as not being Catholic. "Two members of the charter are Protestants, one is the son of an Orangeman.") as was the IRA.
  • 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 hilariously 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.

Video Games

  • 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'

Western Animation

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 (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 FC[2] 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.
      • 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 one such episode, an Irishman at a Springfield celebration talks about how his generation has put aside "the way of the gun and bomb." 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."
      • One such episode had Bart say something to the effect of, "Where's the IRA when you need them?" which caused a bit of controversy in Britain.
    • 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.

Oirish Characters

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • 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.


  • Seamus Finnegan gets turned into this in the Harry Potter Fanfic Dumbledores Army and The Year of Darkness. 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). He's at most 18 when he says that. Although, since the legal drinking-in-public age in the UK, where Seamus is likely from given that he goes to a school in Scotland, is 18, this is perhaps less unlikely.
  • 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 forcing Molly into the Oxenstierna clan against her will, her parents owned a pub.



  • 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.
  • 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.
    • What? No one knows just where Fain is from, his accent keeps changing, often from one sentence to the next.
      • His dialogue is as Oirish as you can get without actually using the word "Begorrah". At least in the early appearances.
      • Fain is a Lugarder. If I recall correctly from the one (two?) time/s anyone went there, Lugard is pretty much Oirland.
  • 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.

Live-Action TV

  • 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.
  • 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. 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.

Professional Wrestling

  • His name is Finlay... and he loves to fight (particularly grating as he was from, and was billed as such, Belfast, in Northern Ireland!)
  • Sheamus, the "Celtic Warrior", who has the usual pale skin and has bright red Anime 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 his characterization tends to lean way more toward what "Celtic Warrior" sounds like.

Tabletop Games

  • 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.



 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.


Video Games

  • 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.

Web Comics

  • Aunt Nina of Lackadaisy Cats is the archetypal dour Irish matron. This St. Patrick's Day strip wonderfully contrasts the two sides of the Irish stereotype: the cheerful, potato-eating step-dancing side, and the glum, pious, strict side.
    • Rocky occasionally addresses his Irish-American cousin jokingly with these stereotypes, with lines such as "Freckle-lad, my most favorite potato eater!"
  • Dougie's father in What the Fu. Worth noting though that it's only Zac trying to imagine what may be going through Dougie's head at the time.
  1. Incidentally, this difference dates from the 19th century, when Irish and American distillers changed the spelling of their product to distinguish it from the Scottish stuff, which at the time was renowned for being cheap and generally bad. Thus both American and Irish whiskey is spelled with an "e." Canada, which got its whisky-making start much later and under Scottish tutelage, uses "whisky." American distillers, on the other hand, were mostly Scots-Irish--i.e. the descendants Ulster Scots and other forms of Scottish Presbyterian transplants, like a whole hell of a lot of the distillers in Ireland. Somewhat peculiarly, one can even detect this in the flavor and appearance of the spirit: good Irish whiskey and American bourbon are both lighter in color and taste remarkably alike for being made from totally different grains and in different kinds of barrels, while a good Canadian whisky will taste a bit like a Scotch (especially if you factor in that the Canadian whisky was made from rye and the Scotch from barley), and is darker in color. The More You Know!
  2. The person the green-and-white hooped shirt, plus there's something on a wall. For those who don't know, Celtic are a Scottish football club who are heavily associated with Ireland, tricolours can be seen in the stadium, and were founded by a priest from Sligo