The Downside of Living in Ireland

Christian Gehrke of I Spy ... blog is an American living in rural Ireland.

As such, he has a unique perspective on how things are in the land of Éire that Irish people may not see:

1. Farmers rule the road and they know it. Whether it be with a very slow tractor or heard of sheep and cattle, they do what they like, when they like and don’t care if you need to get to work.

2. Worrying sheep is against the law. I really don’t know what worrying a sheep consists of but they take it seriously in these parts. Don’t blow your horn or you might worry something or someone.

6. Say no to Craic. Yes we have Crack here too but it means gossip and everyone wants to know what the “criac” is. If you do ANYTHING out of the ordinary everyone will know about it. Gossip is king in these parts.

8. Bureaucracy is king. The Irish love their forms and boy do they use them. To do anything you must fill out at least 10 forms and jump through a minimum of 3 hoops.

To give you an example. We recycle and it means dropping off our recycling ourselves. This I can live with but before we can go to the drop off point we must first buy stamps. The number of stamps depends on how much you have to recycle, usually one stamp per “car” load. These stamps must be bought at a local gas station or shop not the recycling center. If one shop has run out you must find one that still has some left. If you buy too many stamps you’ve wasted money and if you don’t buy enough you will be forced to go back and buy more before you can drop off your stuff. This is enough to put anyone off doing it all together.

It's amazing that they'll make recycling actually hard to do! Link


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I have raised sheep in rural NY and beef steers here in Oregon. Unless you are familiar with farm animals and their quirks, you may not undrstand "Worrying" what we mught call it here is "Scaring" them. A pregnant ewe could abort it's lamb(s) if worried, or break into a run and be injured, the same goes for cattle. where I lived we had problems with dogs and Coyotes, chasing sheep and of course killing them. If you are going to live in a rural area anywhere you must learn the rules of the road when it comes to animals and put up with it. It is the same here in the US. sheep & cattle have the right of way in the countryside.
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It's funny, because it's so true. I'm Irish myself, and that thing with the stamps, you see, there's a tax on 'regular' unrecyclable rubbish (to try to encourage recycling) whereby you must buy 'bin tags' (the stamps that the guy spoke about) and put them out with the bin, one per week, but you can recycle things for free. That is unless you wish to recycle in bulk. If recycling at a recycling centre you have to pay in bin tags, depending on the amount of stuff you wish to recylce, usually 3 or 4 bin tags should do the job, but they cost about €8 ($11.57) each, and as if that isn't enough, the government want to put another tax on 'composting' goods in your back garden, and yet another tax on 'regular' bins, €100 ($144.66) per year.

Other than that (and some other stupidly high prices) it is a really nice place to live, geographically speaking.
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i was in western ireland for a month and a half for a geology field camp. some of the MOST beautiful scenery and friendliest locals i have ever seen/met. our professor taught at Boston U but he was irish himself...he did most of the driving, in a van! the roads are crazy narrow like Sid said (the most beautiful roller coaster ride ive ever been on haha).

anyway, we were in the field a LOT and encountered a LOT of sheep. my name is rob and i SWEAR they didnt go "b-a-a-a-a" they went "r-o-o-o-b". we stayed on an estate that was hundereds of years old. one of the many ghost stories was about a baby that died in the lake and the locals claimed you could hear him crying at nite. one nite we were out at the lake and heard a baby crying. we freaked out til we realized it was only the sheep! sounded exactly like a crying baby!

if you ever have a chance, go to Ireland! it is wonderful!
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Maybe you should clarify that this is about somewhere that's clearly in the arse-end of nowhere. I've never been anywhere in Ireland that didn't have free recycling... (even in the country in farming areas). Way to reinforce the stereotypical 1950s Hollywood idea of Ireland.
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Hey! It's like living in a suburban "home owner's assosiation"! "We're touted as a neighborhood with no visible trash cans" I guess I have to put them in the living room now. Ha ha! You can only paint your house a certain color, all fences have to be white, your grass must be green and cut.

That's it. I'm moving to Ireland. I already have a border collie and the spouse's cursed cats are like mini sheep...which I really have the urge to shave...
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