There are few things worse for an Irish person than being called out for having “notions”. The accused is thought to be prideful, self-obsessed, narcissistic, and possibly delusional. 

In reality, “having notions” means having ideas above your station. The Irish, like many Western nations, have a crabs-in-a-bucket mentality. Tall Poppy Syndrome. We’re begrudgers. 

The practice of mocking those with “notions” is really the action of pulling down anyone trying to raise themselves up. The underlying motive is envy, or resentment. This feeds into a culture more broadly which is on a downward spiral. A culture where the lowest common denominator is always accepted; tattoos, casual clothing, swearing, obesity.

“Stay In Line”

Having “notions” could include doing Yoga, buying expensive clothing, or having an expensive gym membership. 

One effect of this “notions” shaming is that it solidifies social and regional divides. A Trinity boy from Blackrock doesn’t have to worry so much about being called out for notions, but his counterpart from west Cork who moves up to Dublin does.  Similarly, from an outsider perspective it seems mind-boggling when working class men are observed – swearing, scowling, in tracksuits, seemingly with zero intellectual curiosity. ‘How can they be happy living like that?’ or ‘Why don’t they just throw on a pair of jeans to start with?’ To understand this, you must understand the social shaming from their peers which many experience which keeps them in line. In such cases, if Keitho from the flats showed up with nice clothing that doesn’t immediately mark him out as working or dole-class – he may in many cases face ribbing from all his mates. 

There are many who would aspire to better but are locked in by the herd mentality. This goes for all classes and all regions in Ireland. This same principal of social shaming applies to other realms that don’t relate to social class: physical fitness, clear speech, book reading, prayer & meditation, even choice of holidays (tanning & clubbing or hiking and site-seeing?)

Instead of all this, why don’t we cultivate a culture of aspiration? One that points upwards, towards the best – an aspirational culture. 

One more example where we can see the social levelling in action is when anyone Irish makes it big on the world stage. This can be in music, sports, or art. You may have your own reasons for disliking Conor MacGregor, or Paddy Cosgrave – but the Irish media have a vendetta against them and want to take them down a notch because they’ve risen above their station. The Mick must be brought low to remember his humble beginnings – and it’s the Irish themselves enforcing this. This is why the media are knives-out the moment an Irish celebrity is under flak or being cancelled. 

The Irish have always dealt with begrudgers and the social levelling instinct, but it has more recently gotten out of control. Compare and contrast how Irish people answered radio and TV interviewers in the 1960s versus today: 

The comparison of how articulate and respectful these people are compared to their modern equivalents is amazing. It should be remembered that these people were from Dublin city centre and grew up with a level of poverty that doesn’t exist today. When being interviewed by the national broadcaster, Irish people took a moment to collect their thoughts, to use language that was more refined and more articulate than what they possibly were comfortable with.


This topic intersects with politics. Specifically, leftist idolisation of pleb-culture. Think of the Bohs supporter with a neck tattoo, even though his parents are both middle class and went to UCD. The left wants us degraded and vulgarised. They want this so that we are all equal – and not a threat. 

It’s OK to have “notions”. To want to increase your intellect, your refinement, your social standing. 

Go for your sunrise swim. Say no to slop food. Embrace your notions. 

Posted by Ethan Fitzgerald


  1. Ivaus@thetricolour 22/02/2024 at 6:46 pm

    Lieo has the NOTION that he is Leader of a Nation.
    MC nt has the Notion that she is a justice minister for open borders,hate speech
    Minnie Martin has the Notion as a foreign minister he represents sovereignty
    MI5 Garda Commissioner has the Notion that all( bar u know ? ) are far right.
    Sleeper green Ryan has the Notion that 40 shades can become a rainbow
    Micky in d park has the Notion he lives in communist Cuba,and speaks so
    FG has the Notion it is not FF and would never share govt….never will again
    FF has the Notion it is FG and will be banished to political wilderness 4 Eva
    The Greens has the Notion they will be elected again for destroying Farming
    SF has the Notion they’ll govern next ,cute hoors think we’re all mad…bye bye
    RTE has the Notion as a National Broadcaster it is beyond scrutiny,Going gone
    The D-elite ruling class establishment HAD THE NOTION they were the
    UN-touchables along with their NoGO tyrants…NATIONS not NONSENSE


  2. Is that really true, though – a mean and begrudging nature? It feels like just another knock on the Irish character. I always took it for a value deep in our culture to keep the individual from developing a big ego. They took you down to size, made you tough. We grew up loyal and proud to be Irish, but not “the great I am.”


  3. Triggernometry 01/04/2024 at 8:20 pm

    People tend to swim within their classes, that was a completely artificial system handed down historically by Monarchs, we adopted that English idea of Class, as a status prestige chasing motivating idea to better oneself, step up on the ladder – a Wholly protestant, Orange ideal.

    The idea of swimming or fraternizing in your own class is familiarity, networking and not getting ”above one’s station”, as Prince Charles once put it when he was secretly recorded on sky news ( If I recall correctly many moons ago). This of course is the comfort zone, who wants to be looked down on and downgraded for having the wrong address, or wrong upbringing, who wants to storm that weather? Were all snowflakes now. Can’t breathe a word of it, maybe whispers here and there or subtle freezing out, the odd cruel comment on media.

    The I forgot to invite you, they still have ways of doing it, and thou shall be done!

    It is not IRISH, it is NOT us, we haven’t even REALISED ourselves, we were a peasant people , clans that was our structure our power system, now we have 2.4 children nuclear families or the advent of were artificially created, farmers chased women to the cities where they worked selling and leaving their land to up sticks to the rot of the city the bankers took hold of many farms. Manipulation in a word.

    Now the nuclear family which is a ”nuked” form of the extended family has and is being actively jealously destroyed. By NGOs for hire, and those coming into the country and basically by all means.

    That is how the banker works, that is how HE works and worked for a long time in many different countries, bankers of all types have done this , not just the ”usual suspects” although they still knock about.

    They want to take the rest of it off them, not just farms but ”adequate” sized homes, sell on the ”fair deal” trash the old woman ”shes good for it” into the nursing home, put the child in the creche for all hours.

    Who cares, you are worker unit a slave to the system, you don’t like it? We will up your taxes, you don’t like that, we will sneak it on your food and drink, it’s inflation time!

    Don’t like it? Here’s a sleeping bag under a bridge sucker! I’ll count my digits! This is how removed and evil these people are.


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