Irish people lack self esteem – but the country is still well worth a visit and the pub remains the focal point of life in Ireland, according to the new edition of one of the world’s top travel guides.
The latest Lonely Planet Guide claims that the Irish reputation for friendliness is mostly a manifestation of a desire to chat.
The Irish Times newspaper reports on the Lonely Planet claims that the Irish lack self-esteem, despite a veneer of ‘garrulous sociability and self-deprecating twaddle’.
The best-selling publication also claims that the Irish reputation for having an easygoing, affable nature is justified. It describes the Irish lack of self-esteem as the nation’s ‘dark secret’.
The Lonely Planet also states that the pub remains the ‘number one attraction’ for visitors to Ireland and is still the focus of Irish life.
“Ireland has not lost its Mojo despite years of recession, says the guide: “The good times may have gone, but Dublin still knows how to have a good time.”
The authors are however critical of Dublin tourist attractions like the Book of Kells and Temple Bar.
“The Celtic Tiger may be over but Ireland remains a country transformed for the better over the last two decades,” it says.
“It may be ridiculously crude and simplistic to suggest the Irish are used to hard knocks, but, nevertheless there is some truth in it.
“The Irish are fatalistic and pessimistic to the core, which is why they have accepted their economic fate more readily than the Greeks, who have rioted in the streets.
“While suspicious of praise and tending not to believe anything nice that’s ever said about them, the Irish wallow in false modesty like a sport and are fond of the peculiar art of self-deprecation.”
The Lonely Planet guide claims that begrudgery is a national sport and the writers find it amusing that Bono is subject to more criticism in Ireland than he is elsewhere.
The guidebook offers travellers two pieces of advice before they land in Ireland.
“Don’t use expressions like ‘top o’ the morning to you’ or ‘begorrah’ which belong in 1950s Hollywood movies and do buy your round,” it says.
It also claims: “Everything good about Ireland can be found in County Cork. Galway city has an overlaying vibe of fun and frolic that’s addictive but it is also a very rainy city, even by Irish standards.
“Derry city is a pleasant surprise to many visitors even if it is not pretty.”
Armagh city, it says, has ‘a dreary, rundown feel to it’. Larne is ‘lacking in the charm department’ while Letterkenny has been ‘ruined by the excesses of the Celtic Tiger era’.