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Ten signs you grew up Irish in London

Roisin Lonergan

Happy St Patrick’s Day! The time has come to celebrate Irishness in all its glory. If you were lucky enough to be brought up in the Celtic ways of life, you'll be all too familiar with these experiences:


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 Until you said it at school you thought everyone called the airing cupboard the 'hot press'. Nope, they don’t.


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Even if she’s been here over 30 years, your mum still says she’s going home if she plans to visit her side of the family in Ireland.


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On the flipside, you had to give up your bedroom countless times because an aunt/cousin/second cousin was in London for a few days. You got zero sympathy or appreciation from your parents for this.


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You thought everyone had 50 first cousins. You have fond memories of visiting them for rural adventures on the Emerald Isle every year. Although they did take the piss out of your London accent, borrowed (stole) your clothes and had 13 weeks off school in the summer, compared to your pitiful six. 


Celebrations #tayto #guinness

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Summer holidays in Ireland also meant underage drinking. It’s okay because you’d have to eat a year’s worth of Tayto crisps at the same time. Ahh, Tayto.


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Your parents would buy Kimberly biscuits, red lemonade and Barry’s Tea from London’s Irish shops with great excitement, which you never really understood. But the enthusiasm was contagious.

You know at least one person whose parents first met at Cricklewood's Galtymore. There’s nothing as romantic as an Irish dancehall in north-west London named after Tipperary’s biggest mountain.

Several men in your family work or have worked in London’s construction industry. They might have dodgy knees or worse injuries but they’ll only go to the doctor if they’re near death. Limping is basically 'grand'.


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Your parents tell you stories about tuberculosis, walking to school barefoot, caring for siblings before they were in secondary school and the harsh nuns and Christian brothers at Irish schools. You feel kind of lucky with your Londoner’s lot and understand their ways better because of it.

Celebrating St Patrick's Day? Check out the best Irish pubs in London

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