'An Irishman will always soften bad news, so that a major coronary is no more than ”a bad turn” and a near hurricane that leaves thousands homeless is ”good drying weather”.' Hugh Leonard
The people of Ireland are renowned for their wit, and they have migrated from Ireland to most corners of the world, taking that famous sense of humour with them. Modern comedians and comic writers as varied as Dylan Moran, Sharon Horgan, Tommy Tiernan, Alison Spittle, Graham Linehan and Ed Byrne have their own distinctive ways of celebrating and mocking their origins while still occasionally acknowledging the traditional 'paddywackery' (meaning the rain-soaked, Guinness-sodden Oirish stereotype of old).
The roots of Irish humour are much more complex: for centuries classic Irish writers have used black humour and sarcasm, ranging from the satires of Jonathan Swift, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde through to the hilarity of J.P. Donleavy and the sublime nonsense of Flann O'Brien and Spike Milligan ('Many people die of thirst but the Irish are born with one.')
This collection combines a pinch of traditional Irish humour, from shamrocks to limericks, and blarney stones to drinking stories, mixed with distinctly modern one-liners, quips and quotes from the best of the current crop of humorists, along with sections on the Irish mammy, literary feuds and putdowns and epitaphs.