St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, so here are some numbers and facts on Ireland and the Irish.
1.76 million = Irish who say they speak Irish on occasion, when filing an affirmative action claim, or when they’re drunk
73 thousand = Irish who claim to speak it daily (source)
Irish does not have yes and no as words. Instead they respond affirmatively or negatively, such as “Sure, we do,” or “I wouldn’t say that.” Many of them follow this pattern in English too. (source)
6 = Number of times more likely you will be murdered in Ireland than in England or Wales. (source)
“It would be great then if the Americans and the Germans who come to Dublin in large numbers, and claim to love the city, had [Karl] Whitney’s book in hand rather than, say, Ulysses, or some official guide book, and began to pay attention to the city’s underground rivers and its great unfinished estates, not to speak of the strange bus routes and the many holes in the ground, the hidden and essential life of Dublin.”
All Irish can sing; many can dance. “Most – if not all – people I’ve met can do at least part of the original Riverdance. They bring it out at nightclubs, weddings, funerals. They also stand on tables and sing the national anthem at the end of the night. In Australia this only happens at sporting events, school assemblies and anti-immigration rallies but here it’s just the bar’s way of telling you to bugger off home. “
Death is a big deal. “I’ve been to better Irish funerals than Australian weddings. ” (source – cautions)
And from 2017 Port Music Series on Trad Tg4 Irish Music Channel comes this marvelous piece of singing.