A Golden Advice
If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye, and say, “I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.
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Ireland is located in Western Europe, occupying five-sixth of the Island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, and separated from Great Britain by Saint George’s Channel on the south east.
The Irish island is divided into Northern Ireland, which is part of Great Britain, and the Republic of Ireland, formerly Eire.
The area of the island is 84,431 sq km (Republic of Ireland, 70,283 sq km, Northern Ireland 14,148 sq km).
It is not easy to tell the history of Ireland as there are lots of legends involved, however the most common story told is that Ireland was inhabited first by various tribes (Nemedians, Fomorians, Firblogs, and Tuatha De Danann). These tribes are said to have been subdued by Milesians (Scots). Little is known about the history of Ireland before the 4th century ad.
During the reign of King MacNeill, St. Patric attempted to convert the natives. And although Christianity had been previously introduced in some parts of Ireland, St. Patrick encountered great obstacles, and the new faith was not fully accepted in the island until a century after his death (circa 461).
The Viking raids started on Ireland in 795AD, until they were defeated in 1014 in a battle with Brian Boru. The Vikings have helped shape the future generation of Ireland, as many Vikings were married to Irish spouse and settled in Ireland. The Vikings also helped Irish people in terms of technology warships, weapons and war tactics. The Vikings also built the first towns Dublin, Cork and Waterford.
1 May 1169 marked the beginning of the Norman invasion on Ireland, and although the Normans rein over Ireland did not last long, it has a very important history aspect on Ireland as it led to the English occupation which lasted 800 years.
Ireland is a country where religion and religious practice have always been held in high esteem. The majority of Irish people are Roman Catholic; however there is also the church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches, as well as Easter Orthodox and Salvation Army communities and many other non-Christian faiths.
Two languages are spoken in Ireland, English and Irish (Gaelic).
Street signs and post office notices are printed in both Irish and English. English is the language with common use in Ireland. And although the Gaelic language is the “official language” of Ireland only a few considers it to be their native tongue, and only %5 of Irish people use it frequently to talk. However, %30 of Irish people claims proficiency in Gaelic.
Greeting: When man is greeting another a firm hand shake is the usual, and not for too long.
Man greeting a woman, a hand shake is for formal greeting and a kiss on the check if they know each other well.
Personal space is very important for Irish people; an arm length is a good distance to keep when speaking with others. If one stands too close to someone, they might simply move back a bit.
Occasionally, touching other people is permitted and basically only to highlight a point and only very quickly.
Irish people are known for their humour.
Irish people are known to love joking and teasing. Don’t get offended if “your leg is being pulled” it will only be meant in good fun.
Irish people also like telling stories and usually their conversations are rich with that. However, they are also direct people and like to get straight to the point. They appreciate honesty and expect it. Arrogance is not appreciated, and one should show humble in their presence.
Making eye contact when greeting people is important; however it does not become important after that and it will not be considered rude not making eye contact when conversing.
Being on time is not a big issue due to the bad traffic on the roads. Expect being late especially when the weather is bad.
Women have the same rights as men. However, high positions and salaries are occupied more by men!
Irish women feel pressured to have a family and take time to care for, and at the same token are pressured to have careers.
Families in Ireland are not as big as they used to be, although having children continues to be important for Irish people.
Avoid homosexuality and abortion subjects as Irish can be a bit sensitive towards those two subjects. Also refrain from saying that the Republic of Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.
As it was mentioned before the Irish are not necessarily time aware and they might also be late for a Business meeting. As a foreigner try to be on time for meetings. If you find yourself going to be 15 minutes late a courtesy call might be a good idea.
The meetings usually having a sense of informality to them. Irish people take pride in their brilliant abilities to talk. They value a well- crafted message. How you speak tells a lot about you in Ireland!
Always ensure shaking hands with everyone at the meeting at the beginning and when it finishes. Make sure your hand shake is firm and confident, and don’t forget to make eye contact.
It is usual that prior to starting the meeting some time is taken for informal talking.
Irish people are not very good at long planning. They tend to be calm at crises and prefer to improvise than follow a rigid plan.
Do not be misled by the easy going attitude of the Irish. They are extreemly good negotiators.
Do not be surprised if the meeting hasn’t been structured. It varies from a company to another, some are well organised and the others like to go with the flow “improvise” as things go along.
Do not attempt to press your ideas or schedule onto an Irish. They like to be in control.
Business cards are usually exchanged after meetings. Many Irish Businessmen do not have business cards so don't get offended if you are not offered one in return.
Meetings can be conducted in a restaurant or a pub. Exchanging presents in Business is unusual, however if you are invited to their homes take with you a box of chocolate and a wine bottle. Do not offer white lilies as they are used for religious festivals only. White flowers are for funerals.
The golf course is a major venue for conducting Business in Ireland.
Do not offer expensive presents!
Table manners in Ireland are not very strict. They use fork and a knife to eat, and your hands should be visible at the table. Finish all food on your plate if invited at an Irish home.
Women in Business, Foreign Business women will be accepted very quickly and welcomed into the Business world in Ireland.
Dressing: A suite is the best Business outfit for men and women. Dressing conservatively is a good idea! Flashy colours and styles do not blend into the Irish style.
Republic of Ireland is part of the EU.
The use the Euro currency.