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Paperback, 96 pages 178 x 110mm, £6.99
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The Irish

By Frank McNally

What makes the Irish IRISH: A guide to understanding the Irish which explores their humour, shenanigans and stout hearts.

Quote image
  The colourful phrase just comes to them naturally –

like whiskers on a goat.  


  • ‘Hilarious insight to the Irish Psyche. Explains our search for ‘The Craic’ and what it is to be an ‘eejit’. Not a travel guide but an examination of our collective mindset. Very well done… And explains a few of the scenes in Father Ted (‘Why the Irish can’t say Yes’ .. followed by the even funnier ‘Why the Irish can’t say No’.’
    Reviewer from NY (originally Cork)

  • ‘Entertaining read and great summary and explanations of the Irish mentality and the reasons why ways of thinking and acting came into being. It was a great insight into the Irish and made me much more aware of who these people are and where they come from in historical/political terms. Good read.’         Reviewed by Christine G

  • ‘I found this book so funny and entertaining. I related to quite a few depictions of Irish life and laughed at others. For a non-Irish person to read this book, it’s not all true – a lot of it is exaggerated! Overall, an excellent read especially for Irish who can understand even better where it’s coming from.’            Reviewer from Sligo, Ireland

  • ‘I bought this at Shannon Airport and read it on my flight home. Laughed out loud through the turbulence. Can highly recommend it to anyone of Irish parentage – there’s plenty for you to relate to.’      Reviewer from USA

  • ‘Perceptive and true but – even better – witty and entertaining too, Frank McNally captures all the contradictions and quirks that make up the Irish character. I loved it.’      Reviewer from Cork, Ireland

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About the author

Frank McNally was born close to the border between Ireland’s two political jurisdictions, a fact that puts him in the unique position of being equally distrusted by people on both sides. He grew up on a farm, but as with many young men, there came a time when he could no longer resist  the lure of the big city. Unable to find one in Ireland, however, he moved to Dublin.

Shrewdly, he spent much of the depressed 1980s working for the unemployment section of the Department of Social Welfare. It was an exciting time for welfare in Ireland, with record growth in all the main schemes. But it couldn’t last. By the end of the decade, it was clear the glory days were over.

He left the civil service and spent some time travelling, hoping to find himself. Sure enough, while on a visit to Thailand, he found himself short of money and needing to go home and get a proper job. He turned to journalism, where he learned to cut a long story short. He now works for The Irish Times, for which he writes on subjects including parliament, the peace process, and the annual invasion of his kitchen by ants.