Thursday 27 November 2014

Tribes of modern Ireland: None of us are just Irish

PIPOARS: Piss-poor artists
PIPOARS: Piss-poor artists
Quarrel in the family due to lack of money
THE GOMTES: As in Get Off Me, Two's Enough. It's the catchphrase of modern Irish parents
AN SLUA NUA: A sub tribe for our second most popular language
THE UNHIPS: Definitely not hipsters
YOOFEES: The Yoof stands for young people. The Fees stands for what they cost
THE NIRISH: Greetings foreigners
Pope Francis prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel. Pope Francis arrived in Israel on Sunday afternoon, a day after landing in the Middle East for his first visit to the Holy Land. During his visit to the West Bank the Pontiff addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as "unacceptable" and urged both sides to find courage in seeking a peaceful solution. (Photo by Kobi Gideon - GPO /Getty Images)

None of us are just Irish any more. Instead, we have split off into several tribes, from the Squeezed Middle Class, who resent carrying the burden for the likes of the Piss-Poor Artists, to the Yoofees who are bleeding their parents dry, and the New Irish, who we embrace so long as they don't start showing us up at hurling.


Ireland's biggest tribe, the Squeezed Middle. The official definition of SqueeMid is a 30- to 50-year-old property-owning Irish couple, who wished they had moved to Australia when they had the chance, rather than stay here and bankroll their kids, their parents and various other layabouts.

Latest CSO figures show that 98 per cent of Irish adults describe themselves as part of the SqueeMids. And why not? Claiming membership of our most put-upon tribe gives you carte blanche to complain about everything. It's like being a teacher without having to stand in front of 32 teenagers goofed off their heads on energy drinks.

Here's a simple test to see if you are a SqueeMid. Have you recently discussed the difficulties of making ends meet with a nice couple from Athlone while eating al fresco on the Costa Del Sol? Yes? Then you are not a SqueeMid. We hear they are taking on people over at the Quite-Well-Off Complaining Class – try them. If you think this doesn't apply to you because you were indoors in the Algarve, with an annoying couple from Mullingar, then you are missing the point. Deliberately. So stop acting the maggot.

The SqueeMids have a dilemma. They will remain mortgage slaves for the next 20 years, unless a political party can set them free. There is only one party that looks willing to take the fight to the banks. That's Sinn Fein. In fairness, the Shinners have a history of walking into banks and making people do what they are told. The SqueeMids are of a mind to vote for them because they have nothing left to lose.

OUR VERDICT: A Sinn Fein Taoiseach should fix things. Then Ireland will really be full of couples who wished they had moved to Australia when they had the chance.


There is a simple test to establish if you are a member of the Possibly Poor Professionals. If you ever charged someone €250 for five minutes work and they paid without question, then you are a PoPoPro. Or a prostitute, but that's not what we're talking about here.

We are not implying that lawyers overcharge people for their services. That is because they are litigious and have a lot of time on their hands. So leave the lawyers out of this. That leaves the doctors and dentists. It's not a great time for you dentists. A lot of people simply don't have money for cosmetic dental work.

They are spending it on the essentials, such as tummy tucks and boob jobs.

Don't worry, there is a new phenomenon in Ireland that will save your careers. Puritanism. Everyone's drinking less in recent years because we're trying to punish ourselves for wrecking everything.

We get our sugar kick these days from eating a cut-price chocolate bunny while watching EastEnders. And then another one during Corrie. There will be fillings ahead. So hang on in there.

It's not so good for you doctors. Your waiting rooms will soon be full of people with their perfectly healthy five-year-olds. "Why did you bring him to see me?" "Because it's free, doctor." "You do realise that it costs me money." "Yes. You do realise that if I'm sick myself it costs me €50 every time I need you to write the name of an antibiotic on a piece of paper?" "Point taken."

It's a tricky time for you Piss-Poor Artists. You probably still haven't recovered after the boom. Remember the time you'd draw three dots on a canvas to represent the madness of money? And then sell it for 400 grand to a culchie builder, who thought Leonardo da Vinci was a type of pizza? Or the 20 grand you got from the Arts Council to write a poem on how the Celtic Tiger had robbed us of our soul? ("They say money is good for the Irish soul, I've two words for that, My Hole.")

Still, things are looking up. It's only a matter of time before a PiPoArs gets a massive grant to do a portrait of President Michael D.

You will feel the urge to show him posing in the time-honoured fashion, next to an Irish Wolfhound. Maybe pick a smaller dog.

Sunday Indo Life Magazine

Promoted articles

Also in this Section

Promoted articles

Top Stories

Most Read

Independent Gallery

Your photos

Send us your weather photos promo

Celebrity News