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Dublin: Its People, Language And Custom

Dublin may not have the grandeur of Paris or Rome, but its fascinating history and culture make it an interesting and beautiful city. In addition to the world-renowned, Dublin people also make the city one of the more fascinating capitals in Europe.


Around 10% of Ireland’s total population is currently composed of foreign nationals. In Dublin, foreign nationals are generally young, single, and know how to have some fun. The greatest numbers of these residents come from European Union countries, particularly the UK, Lithuania, and Poland. A large portion also comes from outside Europe, especially China, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, and Brazil.

People of Dublin are known for their civilized grace as well as their ironic and self-deprecating humor. But this upbeat sense of humor is often difficult to understand by more unfamiliar tourists. You can joke about almost any topic, just be sensitive enough not to offend any race as even mild racist jokes are not appreciated by Dubliners.

Most Dublin people are happy for friendly sneers about the Irish love of alcohol and potatoes. But avoid making any joke about the 19th-century potato famine, wherein about 4 million people died. It is comparable to making jokes about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.

Love for literature

Dubliners love literature. The city is known for its literary history, boasting many great literary personalities, such as Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett, and George Bernard Shaw. Other prominent Dublin writers and playwrights include Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and Bram Stoker, the creator of the famous Dracula. The city is also well-known It is the location of some of James Joyce’s masterpieces.

History and politics

Britain and Ireland undoubtedly have noteworthy similarities, but people of Dublin generally boast of the cultural differences between Britain and Ireland, and you may quite offend them if you do not show respect and acknowledge these differences.

Additionally, tourists who are quite interested in the history of the division between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should be very careful when talking about this topic and show respect to the differences of views on historical matters.

All in all, considering the complicated history and the vibrant new street life in the city, it is the Dublin people who remain its greatest asset.

Irish Language

The Irish language is a part of the Goidelic language group (Celtic subfamily, Indo-European family), which also includes Gaelic and Manx. Its history as a literary language is divided into the following periods: Old Irish (7th to 9th century A.D.), Middle Irish (10th to 16th century), and Modern Irish (beginning in the 16th century).

The Irish language and her sisters, Breton and Welsh, are three of Europe’s oldest living languages. Written records of this Celtic language can be traced back to earlier Christian period, spoken in the country before 300 BC. The earliest evidence of Irish writing can be seen in the markings on Ogham or commemorative stones.

Later, Irish monks used Roman lettering in writing phrases or little poems in manuscript margins. The Book of Kells, one of the many of these manuscripts, still exists today. The arrival of Christianity and Latin introduced a lot of new terms to the Irish vocabulary, particularly those concerning religious and literacy life.


When going to a foreign city for a holiday, it is a very good idea to know the host’s local customs and etiquette to avoid looking like an outsider. In general, Dublin is a very laidback city that healthily discounts nitpicking rules and authority. You can expect that the Dublin customs and etiquette are the same as those in their counterparts in Europe.

Dress codes

People of Dublin rarely follow dress codes. It is uncommon for restaurants in the city to impose a dress code. In fact, even the classiest and most luxurious establishments accept smart but casual clothing. There are, however, buildings that impose strict dress codes. If you are going to a place of worship, wear something appropriate so as not to offend people.

Do not walk around in a revealing dress when the social rule is to cover yourself up. Doing so would do you no good as it is considered extremely disrespectful of the local people’s beliefs. Such behavior is a disregard for Dublin’s customs.

Eating out

Only the most basic table manners are necessary when eating out in Dublin. That is unless you are with a person or a group of persons that have a specific definition regarding what is appropriate what is not. The rule of thumb in eating out is this: so long as you and your companion(s) do not make a show of yourselves by disturbing other customers, there is little to worry about.

Also, do not be surprised if someone takes the vacant seat and joins you while eating. Remember, Dubliners are highly social beings. They have a great sense of humor and are among the friendliest people in Europe.


Like in other cities, tipping in Dublin is the norm, but at a much lower rate. Most top-class restaurants have a service charge of around 10% to 15%. If this is the case, you do not have to tip. Otherwise, you can tip up to 10% of their service is acceptable. In pubs, however, tipping usually is not customary. Tourists commonly tip taxi drivers 10% and hotel porters also expect to be given a tip of €1 per bag at the most.

Tip: Adjust

Often, tourists are unwilling to immerse themselves in their new culture. Many of them want to keep their customs and for the host city to adjust to their needs. Do not be like this kind of tourist. Go with the flow. Follow Dublin customs and you will feel the very essence of your travel.


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