A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity

Please note that all the photos used in this post are my own.

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day this week, I thought I would re-publish this tribute to my wonderful Irish heritage. I was lucky enough to visit for my 50th birthday (a few years ago now!) and the people we met there certainly lived up to their reputation of being friendly and welcoming.

From cab drivers to bartenders, we found so many unofficial tour guides who offered ready advice on where to visit, as well as give you dates and details from their long and varied, but sadly often tragic, history. Add to that a sense of humour that is dry, slightly sarcastic, and ever-present. As obvious tourists, we were often on the receiving end of fun-poking banter that was never offensive and usually entertaining — the famous Irish ‘craic’

I think it is from this combination of history and humour that their eccentricity also comes. We found many examples of it throughout the country, some steeped in folklore and some just plain funny!

Dublin, a truly beautiful city, has dotted its streets with statues of historical figures, giving visitors a peek not only at history, but its cultural and literary heritage as well. The locals have nicknamed many of these statues, usually something catchy and rhyming, and often slightly derogatory.

Molly Malone statue, Dublin

Molly Malone, famous from the song “Cockles and Mussels”, was a fishmonger (possibly also a prostitute!) in the 17th century. She is strictly fictional, though an urban legend grew up, that she is based on a real person — no proof of that, though. Her statue, near Trinity College, is colloquially called ‘The Tart with the Cart’ or sometimes ‘The Trollop with the Scallops’.

James Joyce statue, Dublin

The James Joyce statue, just off famous O’Connell Street, is affectionately nicknamed ‘The Pr*ck with the Stick’!

Trolls under the bridges? River Liffey, Dublin

This straight-up made me laugh. Someone had stencilled these words at the crosswalk onto the Queen’s Street Bridge, near…

DM (Donna) Hanton, Writer

Hi, I’m Donna. Fiction Writer. My current WIP is domestic suspense, titled Love to Hatred Turned. I post about writing, life — all the stuff, really!