Etiquette

Although largely informal in their everyday dealings, the Irish do observe some (unspoken) rules of etiquette.

  • Greetings Shake hands with men, women and children when meeting for the first time and when saying goodbye. The Irish expect a firm handshake with eye contact. Female friends are greeted with a single (air) kiss.
  • Conversation Generally friendly but often reserved, the Irish avoid conversations that might embarrass. They are very mistrustful of 'oversharers'. Not surprisingly politics and religion can be touchy topics in Northern Ireland: take your lead from locals and don't make any assumptions or assertions.
  • Round System The Irish generally take it in turns to buy a round of drinks for the whole group and everyone is expected to take part. The next round should always be bought before the first round is drunk.