THE IRISH are the largest and longest-established minority ethnic group originating outside Britain, but their difference is recognised only in the migrant generation.
Unlike the second generations of ‘visible’ ethnic groups, children of Irish-born parents in Britain are assumed to be British because they are (mostly) ‘white’ and have no Irish accent.
This list provides the tell-tale signs of a 2GI (Second Generation Irishman/woman).
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Which do you identify with?
1. You travel on an Irish passport despite the fact it means getting hold of your parents birth certificates and requires the patience of a saint whilst waiting for it to be processed in Dublin.
2. Despite not having an Irish accent you use phrases such as ‘craic’, ‘grand’, ‘giving out’ and ‘feckin’ eejit’ when talking with non-Irish people.
3. You can put on an Irish accent which sounds more convincing than your parents – who have Irish accents.
4. You stand for Amhrán na bhFiann despite your Irish language skills being limited to telling people to ‘póg mo thóin’.
5. You had nightmares as a child after being told countless stories about the Banshee.
6. You had no idea what the road you grew up on looked like for the first 16 years of your life during the summer because you were sent back ‘home’ as soon as school finished.
7. You cried, or tried to hide when it was time to leave Ireland at the end of the six weeks – questioning the sanity of your parents who swapped flowing green fields for life in a concrete jungle.
8. You envied your cousins in Ireland who had a longer summer holiday than the six weeks you got.
9. Your father, grandfather or an uncle has done, or still works in construction.
10. At least one of your parents walked to school without any footwear and the journey gets longer every time education is brought up in conversation.
11. You do not support England in any sporting event especially the World Cup despite the fact they are almost certain to win.
12. English people on hearing your accent are bemused by your reluctance to support the Three Lions.
13. You have experience of travelling to Ireland on a budget airline only to find that once across the water your baggage failed to reach the same destination.
14. The Euro will never be as cool as the Punt.
15. You can hold your own playing pool as you spent so much time in pubs during your six week summer holidays.
16. You know the history of Ireland better than your parents.
17. You get called a ‘Plastic Paddy’ by Irish people in Britain so feel the need to educate them on the birthplaces of Éamon de Valera, James Connolly and John Aldridge.
18. You burn in the sun and smile in the rain.
19. You get into Gaelic Games during the summer (when the soccer season is taking a break) but only if one of your parents comes from a county actually capable of winning the hurling or football.
20. You own a GAA top.
21. You’re planning to visit Ruislip next season as London are no longer a joke.
22. You grew up with a copy of The Irish Post in your house plus at least one copy of a regional paper from back ‘home’ such as the Mayo News.
23. When you have a child of your own born in Britain you make sure they are photographed in something green early on out of fear that the Queen might be celebrating something and a friend buys a T-shirt with the Union Jack all over it.
24. You used to be an altar boy but now only enter a church for weddings, funerals, christenings or possibly Christmas.
25. You know the British-born players who qualify to play for Ireland long before the FAI and Giovanni Trapattoni used to.
26. You can sing at least three rebel songs with such gusto that your neighbours fear an uprising.
27. You have a fondness for Celtic which gets bigger when they are drawn in the Champions League in a group containing AC Milan, Ajax and Barcelona.
28. You have a friend called Ciaran, Brendan, Patrick or Sean.
29. You believe the Bible Code Sundays can read your mind when seeing them play live.
30. One day you hope to go back ‘home’ and stay there until you are pushing up daisies.