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Things people miss most about Ireland when they leave

A glance at the calendar might tell you that summer has arrived – but really, you don’t need a calendar to know that much. Peeking outside the window, listening out for tell-tale noises, or even sniffing the air is enough to confirm it; the sights, sounds and smells all point towards the changing of the seasons.

With a long history of emigration and a friendly and easy-going attitude, Irish people are pretty good at settling in other countries and making a home for themselves elsewhere, but there are a few things they find it hard to live without.


Obviously, those who leave behind family and friends will always miss their loved ones but it’s not just the people you know that you miss when you leave Ireland, but the people in general.

2. The Chat

Irish people are famous for their friendly nature and it’s remarkably easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger wherever you go (sometimes a bit too easy!).

There aren’t many countries in the world where you can take a train journey and know the whole life story of the person you sat next to by the time you reach your stop. No doubt you’ll also have managed to identify a common acquaintance (Bonus points if you’ve discovered that they’re actually a second cousin of your Auntie Mary’s friend Betty’s husband’s grand uncle!).

3. The banter

The Irish sense of humour is also something special, with its unique mix of self-deprecating comments and quick Irish wit. You know you’re homesick for Ireland when you find yourself actually missing the sarcasm.

4. The scenery

In Ireland we are blessed with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world (even if we do say so ourselves!). Some gems include Glendalough in Wicklow, The Conor Pass in Kerry, The Giant’s Causeway in Antrim, The Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren in Clare, to name but a few. If you’re lucky enough to catch these on one of the few sunny days of the year, there’s nowhere else on earth you’d rather be.

Ireland isn’t called “The Emerald Isle” for nothing. Visitors always marvel at how many shades of green can be found in the Irish landscape – we’ve got the rain to thank for that!

5. The grub

We do love our food

There is a saying in Ireland “Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin‘ , which means “There’s no place like home” or, more specifically, ‘There’s no fireside like your own fireside”. This is certainly true for Irish people when it comes to their food.

6. Tayto crisps

Tayto crisps are consistently named the ‘most-missed’ food by Irish emigrants in Checkout Magazine’s annual Behaviour & Attitudes Survey.

So, what is it about this salty snack that Irish people love so much? Tayto crisps always take people right back to their childhood – whatever the occasion, a pack of Taytos always made it extra special. You can’t beat childhood memories of enjoying Taytos at lunchtime, on school tours, on GAA match days, on family picnics or coated in sand on a trip to the beach.

Matt Damon loved Dalkey almost as much as Dalkey loved him and is looking forward to a return visit.

7. The Crisp sandwich

(Aka Breakfast, Dinner or Tea)

The real magic of Tayto crisps is that anyone under pressure (or just feeling a bit lazy) can simply add two slices of buttered bread to the equation and they become a trusty crisp sandwich, which can be eaten in place of any meal – breakfast, dinner or tea (Just remember to eat it as soon as you add the crisps, so it doesn’t go soggy).

8. brennan’s bread

And is it even a proper crisp sandwich unless it’s made with Brennan’s Bread and covered with lashings of Kerrygold.

9. mammy’s soda bread

Made from a closely guarded secret recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation, nothing compares to Mammy’s Soda Bread.

10. proper butter – kerrygold

Kerrygold butter is another thing people really miss when they leave. When it comes to dairy products – milk, butter, and eggs – Irish dairy is arguably the best in the world.

Why? Irish cows eat mainly grass and we’ve got an abundance of that in Ireland. Again, we’ve got the rain to thank for that! This helps them to produce creamier milk, which gives Irish butter its luxurious taste.

11. decent chocolate – cadbury’s

Chocolate just doesn’t taste the same abroad and when it comes to the Irish foods ex-pats crave most, Cadbury’s chocolate is always high on the list.

12. the full irish breakfast

The Irish fry-up is often copied but never equalled. Sure, you’ll get a cooked breakfast, but it’s not quite the same without Denny sausages and rashers and Clonakilty pudding on the plate.

13. tea – barrys or lyons

And what better to wash it all down with than a hot mug of tea? The jury’s out as to whether Barry’s or Lyons tea is the best, but that depends on which part of the country you’re from.


If you or someone you love is living abroad and craving some home comforts, we’ve got a range of hampers packed with traditional Irish treats to brighten up your day. While we may not be able to get Mammy’s Soda Bread in, you’ll find almost everything else at:



“All four seasons in one day” is probably the best way to describe the Irish weather and that’s one thing most Irish people definitely don’t miss when they move abroad. Although, if we could rely on the weather, we’d probably never leave the country at all.


You can keep your Big Macs, Supermac’s is what Irish people abroad really crave. Originated in Galway, this fast-food chain is a firm Irish favourite and won a trademark challenge by McDonalds in 2019 over the right to use the name “Supermac’s” across Europe so global expansion may well be on the horizon.


The spice bag is a uniquely Irish twist on Asian cuisine and can be found in most Chinese take-aways in Ireland, but nowhere else in the world. It includes deep-fried salt and chilli chips, shredded salt and chilli chicken, green peppers, onions and a special (often secret) spice mix.

According to Just Eat, 3.8 spice bags are purchased in Ireland every minute. Spice bags are actually a relatively recent phenomenon in Ireland, dating back to about 2010, but their exponential growth in popularity and their elevation to cult status justifies their inclusion on this list.

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