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Irish FAQ: Miscellaneous [8/10]

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Archive-name: cultures/irish-faq/part08
Last-modified: 6 Jul 99
Posting-Frequency: monthly

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Part eight of ten.

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1) I'm considering looking for a job in Ireland.  Any hints?
2) Where can I get information about moving back to Ireland?
3) How do I apply for Irish citizenship?
4) Do I qualify for Irish citizenship if my great-grandparent was Irish?
5) Could I not get citizenship by first getting a parent to get it?
6) Which Irish embassy or consulate should I contact?
7) Is dual citizenship allowed (for example if I'm a U.S. citizen)?
8) I'm an American student: can I get a working visa?
9) I'm looking for XXX from Ireland: how can I reach him/her?
10) What are black Irish and shanty Irish?
11) What are Scotch-Irish?
12) What are black protestants?
13) What are travellers?
14) How do I pronounce "celt" and "celtic"?
15) What's the difference between clover and shamrock?
16) Does anybody know the lyrics for [Danny Boy, Galway Bay, etc.] ?
17) Where can I order Irish turf in the U.S.?
18) What are Claddagh rings?

Subject: 1) I'm considering looking for a job in Ireland. Any hints? The employment market in the Republic of Ireland has improved markedly in the last couple of years. There are good jobs to be had for people with appropriate experience, particularly sales/marketing, customer support and technical/engineering. People with fluency in one or more European languages combined with other skills are particularly in demand. The best places to look are the Irish Independent on Thursdays (business "pink pages") or Friday's Irish Times (in the Business Supplement). If you're interested in Dublin the Evening Herald is also worth a look. There are a number of websites of interest, for example There's also a jobs fair every Christmas called the `High Skills Pool', which has taken place in Dublin for the past couple of years. They are partly funded by the IDA and will give you information on companies in Ireland for free if you have any queries. You can also get an information pack on moving back to Ireland, e.g. what the tax rate is, etc.
Subject: 2) Where can I get information about moving back to Ireland? The "Irish Emigrant" newsletter has a fairly comprehensive guide on the web at called "Living and Working in Ireland". Another guide can be found at (Unfortunately you don't get to see everything without paying first.) The Sunday Business Post has some useful information at
Subject: 3) How do I apply for Irish citizenship? Anyone who has a parent or grandparent born in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland can get an Irish passport by applying to your local embassy or consulate. If you are considering applying for Irish citizenship, you should in any case contact the nearest Irish diplomatic mission to make sure you get accurate and up-to-date information. You need to have the following :- i) For the Irish grandparent, birth certificate and marriage license to whoever was the other grandparent of the applicant. ii) For the parent (child of the Irish grandparent) birth certificate and marriage license to your other parent. iii) For you: birth certificate ALL of the above documents must have complete details that prove the connection. In other words, the birth certificate must show the names, dates of birth and places of birth of both your parents, so that they can be conclusively identified to be the same person mentioned on the marriage license and their own birth certificate. Irish documents seem to include these details automatically, but in the U.S., you may have to contact the Vital Statistics Bureau in the state of birth to get an official copy containing more details. ALL of the documents must be official, i.e., must bear the raised stamp of the issuing agency. You have to fill out forms, attach photographs and have it all witnessed, not by a notary public, but by a "clergyman, high school principal, lawyer or bank manager". It costs about $160 if you are claiming through your parent(s), in addition to the cost of getting copies of the documents. If you are claiming citizenship based on your grandparent(s) then you need to pay $270 for Registration of Foreign Birth. There's about a one-year backlog in processing applications.
Subject: 4) Do I qualify for Irish citizenship if my great-grandparent was Irish? No, a great-grandparent is too distant a relation for you to qualify. The rules are specified in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, which someone has been kind enough to put on the web at The Act is a bit confusing and not necessarily complete. Check with an Irish embassy or consulate [see below] or a lawyer [there are several advertising their services on the web] for the definitive word on this.
Subject: 5) Could I not get citizenship by first getting a parent to get it? No, you can't get citizenship from a great-grandparent like that. You get citizenship from your parent at the time of your birth (see the Nationality and Citizenship Act,section six, subsection two). If your parent was not an Irish citizen when you were born, you cannot get citizenship from him or her later. (Obviously, this doesn't stop you from getting citizenship if you are entitled to it for some other reason.) I emphasize: none of what is said here about citizenship is legal advice. I could be wrong. Read the Act yourself, but if you want legal advice for your situation you will most likely have to pay a lawyer.
Subject: 6) Which Irish embassy or consulate should I contact? If you're in the States, you can choose one of the following. Embassy of Ireland 2234 Massachusetts Ave. Washington D.C. 20008 tel. (202) 462-3939 fax. (202) 232-5993 Consulate General of Ireland Ireland House 345 Park Avenue - 17th Floor New York, NY 10154-0037 tel. (212) 319-2555 fax. (202) 980-9475 Consulate General of Ireland 535 Boylston Street Boston MA 02116 tel. (617) 267-9330 fax. (617) 267-6375 Consulate General of Ireland 400 North Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611 tel. (312) 337-1868 fax. (312) 337-1954 Consulate General of Ireland 44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3830 San Francisco CA 94104 tel. (415) 392-4214 fax. (415) 392-0885 If you live elsewhere or you want more detailed information, you could try looking at
Subject: 7) Is dual citizenship allowed (for example if I'm a U.S. citizen)? In general there's no problem. If you are a U.S. citizen you might find Rich Wales' Dual Citizenship FAQ at useful.
Subject: 8) I'm an American student: can I get a working visa? It is possible to get a work visa for 6 months. But be warned: although the market has improved during the last couple of years, jobs are usually not as easy to come by as in the States! Ireland & Britain operate exchange schemes whereby Irish & British students can work in the USA for up to six months on J-1 visas and USA students can work in Ireland or Britain. Not surprisingly, service industries are probably your best bet. There is a fair demand for waiters/waitresses during the summer tourist season. Note that pubs usually require previous experience before they'll hire you to tend the bar. There are other jobs to be had but they are in niche areas. Whatever you look for, the best hunting strategy is often to just tramp from door to door. Good preparation and timing are essential. In particular, if you need accommodation, it's often best to look for it _after_ Irish students end their exams (which may be several weeks after you do). Contact an Irish consulate or BUNAC for more information.
Subject: 9) I'm looking for XXX from Ireland: how can I reach him/her? There are better approaches to finding someone than asking on If you have access to the Web, you might look at or if you think the person you're looking has posted messages to Usenet, you could try looking at or you could also try using a search engine such as AltaVista ( You are not likely to be able to find someone using the Net if they don't use the Net themselves. The chances that someone reading knows them is vanishingly small. You're more likely to find them the "old-fashioned" way, by asking family, friends or relatives.
Subject: 10) What are black Irish and shanty Irish? This question has come up fairly regularly on the newsgroup but has never been resolved definitively. Neither "black" or "shanty" are used much in Ireland. They seem to be mainly used in America. "Shanty Irish" was used to describe the poorest of the poor Irish immigrants, the kind who ended up in shanty town (the origin of the word "shanty" is not known, but it might come from the Irish "sean t", meaning "old house"). Today "shanty" in the States is a derogatory term for people who in Ireland might be known as culchies but the people so described need not necessarily be of Irish descent. "Lace curtain Irish" could be as poor as the Shanty Irish but they had notions of being more respectable. They were called that because they would put up lace curtains for appearances sake, even in a shanty town. Thus the term is far from being a complement. { Thanks for clarification to Neil Cosgrove. } "Black Irish" is often taken to mean Irish people with dark hair and eyes. One romantic story is that they are the descendants of shipwrecked sailors of the Spanish Armada. Unfortunately for the story, it is very unlikely that enough of the sailors survived for their genes to be in the population visible today. A variation on this theme says they are descended from Spanish Moors who traded with people on the west coast of Ireland. Another explanation is that it's common in Irish to give people nicknames based on their hair, such as Seamus dubh and "black Irish" is just a carryover of this into English. Some people say that the "black Irish" were the original inhabitants of the island and all the rest were just blow-ins. One other interpretation is that "black Irish" refers to the descendants of Irish slaves taken to the Caribbean island of Montserrat during Cromwell's time. The descendants of these slaves and black slaves from Africa live there to this day. The surprising thing is that they still speak with an Irish accent!
Subject: 11) What are Scotch-Irish? A majority of Irish people who emigrated to America in the 18th century were Protestants from Ulster. Most of these, in turn, were descendants of settlers brought in from Scotland from the 17th century during the so called plantation of Ulster. (Being Protestant, it was believed they would prove more loyal than the troublesome Irish.) "Scotch-Irish" usually refers to those emigrants or to their descendants. (Note that most Scots do not like being called "Scotch" nowadays, because this word is usually used for whisky from Scotland.)
Subject: 12) What are black protestants? Black protestants are protestants who take their religion seriously. "Black" in this context means intense or dedicated. Answering this question, Gerard wrote: "not simply protestant, but a dedicated protestant, not just talking the talk but also walking the walk". There is some speculation as to where this expression comes from. One plausible source is the Irish word dubh (pr. dove, meaning black) which is commonly used as an intensifier. It might also have something to do with the Royal Black Institution, a body for Ulster protestants similar to the Orange order.
Subject: 13) What are travellers? Travellers (also known as itinerants and tinkers, though these names can be seen as offensive) are people in Ireland who have traditionally lived "on the road", typically in caravans moving from place to place. In many ways they can be seen as a separate ethnic group and they are often subject to ethnic prejudices and discrimination. There's a FAQ on travellers at
Subject: 14) How do I pronounce "celt" and "celtic"? The "c" at the start of "celtic" can be pronounced soft, like an "s", or hard, like a "k". The most common convention is to always pronounce it with a hard "c" ("keltic") except when using it as a proper noun (e.g. Celtic Football Club, Boston Celtics, The Anglo-Celt newspaper). In Irish, "c" is always pronounced hard, like the letter "k" which is never used in Irish words. The Greeks were the first to write about the Celts, using the word "Keltoi", which suggests that the hard sound is also historically accurate. { Thanks for clarification to Michael Ruddy. }
Subject: 15) What's the difference between clover and shamrock? Short answer: shamrock is smaller than clover. Long answer: shamrock and clover are both used to refer to species of trefoil (genus Trifolium, from the Latin meaning "having three leaves"). Clover is used for large species and shamrock for small species. Shamrock, like clover, is common in Europe, not just in Ireland. [Answer blatantly cogged from Des Higgins, resident newsgroup expert on the subject.]
Subject: 16) Does anybody know the lyrics for [Danny Boy, Galway Bay, etc.] ? There's a list of song lyrics at For people looking for Dubliner lyrics Irish Folk Songs For Singing On St. Patrick's Day or Whenever If it's not on any of the above sites, try asking on Read the FAQ first, in case the answer is there (available at
Subject: 17) Where can I order Irish turf in the U.S.? Bord na Mna are offering turf (baled briquettes and wicker baskets of sod turf) for delivery anywhere in the 48 contiguous states. They can be contacted by phone (toll-free): 1-888 843 0924 or e-mail: To order, you need your full address (including ZIP code). Currently, credit cards are the only form of payment accepted.
Subject: 18) What are Claddagh rings? There are many stories about the Claddagh ring. Claddagh itself refers to a small fishing village just near Galway city. The Claddagh ring supposedly originated in this area. The ring has a design of a heart being encircled by a pair of hands with a crown above the heart. Some more information can be found at ------------------------------ End of Irish FAQ part 8 ***********************

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Ivan Brookes
I'm looking for information regarding navigable waterways for a 44' fly bridge cruiser for corporate entertainment such as the big horse racing events. I've searched the internet and book stores here in Walws without success.

Ivan Brookes

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