A Twitter shout-out from an Economics Professor asking what it means to be Irish results in some funny, sweet, and moving responses.

Irish officially means "relating to Ireland, its people, or the Celtic language traditionally and historically spoken there" or "the people of Ireland; Irish people collectively," according to Oxford Languages.

Of course, anyone who's Irish or loves the Irish knows there's more to it than that!

In June 2022, Professor Stephen Kinsella from the University of Limerick posted on Twitter saying "An Experiment. Finish this sentence. To be Irish means..." the responses were funny, sentimental, and really very sweet. 

An Experiment.

Finish this sentence.

To be Irish means...

— Stephen Kinsella (@stephenkinsella) June 17, 2022

Here are just some of the responses to what being Irish means: 

The correct answer to the ultimate Irish question is … Barry’s

Giving directions via the nearest church or pub as landmarks.


Yerrah shure you know yourself.

Having empathy and understanding of the plight of others, along with the ingenuity and determination to offer help.

One understands the importance of pints…

To be easygoing. I feel that's our biggest defining trait. We have others, but yeah.

Whatever you're having yourself.

Honoring those who endured suffering so we cd be free eg men & women of 1916 Rising

Making an effort to learn our native traditions & language whether new Irish or old

Love of family & community

Kindness to strangers

Solidarity with oppressed all over the world

To be proud and grateful.

Always wanting to go home.

To be hit regularly by bouts of inexplicable guilt.

To keep thinking it'll be grand until it really isn't ;-).

To have 40 different words for “rain”.

To be Irish, is not a passport or an ethnicity or a demarcation of geography, it is a mindset, to be Irish you must have an Irish mindset. We welcome all, it’s hard to define, but it has allowed us to give the world great scholars, writers and innovators.

No matter how dire things are, at some stage you'll always say "sure it'll be grand".

You are Irish, you're trying to be Irish, or you will be Irish, with a bit of luck...

What does being Irish mean to you? Let us know in the comments!