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Take a look outside. Can you see green fields or flat, grey suburbia? Finding life dull and laughter-less? You really need to get over to Ireland where the people are warm, the drinks are flowing and there’s fun to be had.
The Lonely Planet reckons Ireland is one of the top five countries to visit in 2015. But we think it’s so good you should probably just live here.
Here are 21 reasons you should move over the water right now:
1. The craic is 90
Or mighty! Loosely translated means the fun factor is tipping the scales and it’s true, particularly if you happen to be in a pub during a lock-in.
2. Because of the tea
When not drinking Guinness, Ireland sups a lot of tea. Who doesn’t love a cup of cha?
3. Because of the language
Come here till I tell ya, you don’t have to speak in Gaeilge, even everyday language is made beautiful by an Irish brogue and a novel approach. Take the phrase ‘acting the maggot’ which means messing around – it’s so much better than ‘messing around’!
4. Because of the people
The Irish are some of the funniest and warmest people you’ll ever meet. After famines, Cromwell and the banking crises they still know how to see the funny side.
5. Because of their names
With as many pronunciations as there are different spellings, Irish names are like music to your ears: Ailbhe, Bláithín, Caolán, Dara, Daire or Darragh?
6. Because of the Irish men
Colin Farrell, Ronan Keating, Niall Horan!
7. Because of the Rose of Tralee
Or beours (beautiful women), as they might also be known. If you thought Father Ted’s Lovely Girls competition was a comic invention you’d be wrong, it happens here every year at the Rose of Tralee.
8. Because of the mammies
They’re famous for being able to scold and praise you in one breath. They’ll make sure you’re well fed, and you always wear your coat in wet weather, but cross one at your peril.
9. Because of the dinners
Irish mammies are particularly good at these. Cabbage, ham and spuds are a staple. Basically anything with potatoes really!
10. Because of the pubs
Where everyone is always welcome – to stay till tomorrow if they want, ah go on, the craic’ll be mighty!
11. Because of the scenery
Take a trip to Glendalough where you can see historic ruins of a medieval monastery, plus walk round a lough that looks like something out of Lord of the Rings.
12. Because of the weather
Yeah it rains a lot, but that’s what makes it the Emerald Isle. It’s green as far as the eye can see.
13. Because of the sport
Being in the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) is like being in a tribe. Even the Queen is a fan of hurling, the world’s fastest field sport.
14. Because of the cities
Dublin, Cork, Galway, each of Ireland’s cities is like one big party that everyone’s been invited to.
Walk down cobbled streets in Kilkenny or pop into a pub in Galway where there will always be live music or pretend your Bono and stalk the streets of Dublin.
15. Because of the music
Talking of Bono, one of Ireland’s biggest exports is its musicians. There’s just so many of them and all seem to have been born with a cajon in their hands.
16. Because of Jedward
Yeah, they’re not to everyone’s taste but they’ve brought us all a laugh, even if for the wrong reasons.
17. Because of the comedy
Dylan Moran, Tommy Tiernan, Ardal O’Hanlon, Graham Linehan, Pat Short, we could go on (for a really long time!)
18. Because of the books
From Marian Keyes to James Joyce, Ireland is home to the literary greats.
19. Because of the culture
Oscar Wild, the music, Ballykissangel! Why not pop into Fitzgerald’s and pretend your Father Peter!
20. Because of the magic…
Did someone say Leprechaun? Careful down country roads at night in case you meet a will-o’-the-wisp, faeries or a banshee (bean-sidhe).
21. Because it’s grand
Even Saint Patrick said so, what other reason could you need?