Around the world, people are preparing to celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, the 19th of June. In a household with Irish roots, this is in fact, one of the most important days of the year. It’s the day where your dad pretends he does not want a fuss made for him, yet beams at the cards and gifts he is presented with. It’s the day you show him how much he means to you by spoiling him with his favourite food, drink, endless pairs of socks and the latest bestselling autobiography of a sportsperson he admires. These traditions are global, but there are some elements of fatherhood that are specific to dads that hail from the emerald isle. The Irish dad is a unique specimen, to say the least, and we thought we’d do a deep dive into what it truly means to be one.
To get an authentic perspective of the Irish dad, we enlisted Mark‘s Father, the ‘Dad of the Paddy Box', who gave his heart and soul to the business and supported Mark when it first took off. If you can remember, Mark’s Mam, Ger was full of chat (as most Irish mammies are). Mick, on the other hand, is a man of fewer words, perfectly exemplifying the Irish dad. He reminded us of all the amazing traits that Irish dads typically possess and we thought we’d share them with the Paddy Box Family.
You know your dad is Irish when…
He considers himself a handyman… But no one else does
Mick reminded us of this typically-Irish trait that many dads possess. From broken boilers to piles of unassembled shelving units that have been lying there for weeks, there is no Irish household without a dad who insists he’ll "get to that soon". However, we know the truth: the Irish dad has absolutely no intention of fixing whatever is broken or building whatever needs to be built, until the very last minute OR until he requires the use of the item himself.
The best part? Once your in-house handyman actually got onto doing ‘the bits’ around the house, he’d often make a fairly decent stab at it. Initially, he’d be DELIGHTED with himself for his handy work. That was until your mammy arrived in to take him down a peg, saying that ‘if he was any good’ he would’ve done it months ago.
He was #gifted every pair of socks he owns
Your dad would never head into Dunnes or Penney’s to buy himself a pair of socks. Why would he, when every gifting occasion has led to a pack of socks? If he was very lucky, there might even be a pair of jocks thrown in there too. Mark’s dad swears he would never wear one of his #gifted pairs of socks with sandals, even when dashing outside after forgetting to put the bins out. However, we don’t believe Mick in the slightest.
He apologises with acts of service
You always knew dad was in the doghouse when he randomly made breakfast in bed for your mam or presented her with a gift when it wasn’t her birthday, Christmas or Mother’s day. Mick tells us his apology of choice comes in the form of jewellery, which is very impressive, to say the least. Flowers or chocolates would also be used to say sorry, or a bottle of ‘good’ wine. As we all know, physically verbalising one’s regret is very “un-Irish” in general. Best approach the apologising process with actions rather than words.
He is secretly a big softy
As Mick was brave enough to admit, an Irish daddy cries. Whether it’s listening to his favourite band from the glory days or watching his team win the championship, you know you’ve seen your dad shed a tear while pretending there was something in his eye. Your typical Irish dad is the one who swore he didn’t want a dog but is now the dog’s full-time primary caregiver. He cares more than he lets on about magical family moments like Christmas morning, your first days of school or your college graduation. You see the full force of these emotions when the Irish daddy becomes the Irish grandfather. He’ll spoil his grandkids in a way he never did you. There will be sweets before dinner, stories well past bedtime and a tendency to be wrapped around their little finger like the softy he is.
His dad jokes are the best and the worst, all at the same time
Listen, dad jokes are as old as time. Sometimes we don’t even know why a joke is 100% a dad joke, we just know them when we hear them. Laughing at himself like a true Irish dad, Mick blessed us with these crackers during our chats:
“I’d like to start with the chimney jokes – I’ve got a stack of them. The first one is on the house.” 🤣
“I said to the gym instructor: ‘Can you teach me to do the splits?’ He said: ‘How flexible are you?’ I said: ‘I can’t make Tuesdays."
His quotes are timeless
Think about your dad’s favourite phrases. The ones that are always met with a smile and an eye roll. Mark’s dad would be known for the occasional "When I was your age" followed by a typical Irish dad story like how he never got a lift anywhere and crossed mountains, streams and county borders barefoot to get to school back in his day. Another favourite of Mick’s is the good old "You’re not going out in that!" which applied to both skirts that were too short AND anything too flashy that made you look like an eejit. You’d wear the outfit despite dad’s dissent but the interaction was all part of the ritual of leaving the house as an Irish teenager.
We remember these phrases fondly, no matter how repetitive they became over time. The worst thing about these is that as we grow older, we find ourselves saying the same things and continuing the tradition of pointless phrases that trigger eye rolls from the younger generation.
Thank you, Mick!
We want to thank Mick for his input here as he truly is the epitome of the Irish dad we know and love. Finally, Happy Father’s Day to Mark, Mick and all the Irish dads out there! Don’t forget to treat your dad to a Father’s Day Hamper from The Paddy Box full of his favourite Irish goodies. He may not admit it, but he’ll be only delighted with himself.