Humor is a large part of the Irish culture, and not just in the stories and jokes that are shared at the pub, here is some evidence of humor in everyday life in Ireland:
Sign on a Limerick shop: Out for lunch. If not back by five, out for dinner also.
Signs on Irish farm gates:
Horse Manure: 50p per pre-packed bag. 20p -do it your self.
The farmer allows walkers across the field for free, but the bull charges.
Notice on a Cork building site:
The shovels haven't arrived, and until they do, you'll have to lean on each other.
A particular favorite for theft is the road sign to one Co. Kerry village that reads: "Inch, 1 mile."
A Belfast newspaper reported on the launching of an aircraft carrier and recorded:
The Duchess smashed the bottle against the bow and amid the applause of the crowd she slid on her greasy bottom into the sea.
A newspaper in Ireland published the headline:
Half the council are crooks, but was asked to retract it. The following week it ran the heading: Half the council are NOT crooks.
Ireland, reknown for storytelling, has produced many authors and politicians. Here are some quotes that demonstrate their wit, or lack thereof:
It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody. - Brendan Behan
"Burn everything British, except their coal." - Jonathan Swift
Little Boy: Mr. President, how did you become a war hero?
President Kennedy: It was absolutely involuntary. They sank my boat.
The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything. - Oscar Wilde
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. - George Bernard Shaw
No man is an Ireland. - Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going. - P. J. O'Rourke
It was a bold man who first swallowed an oyster. - Jonathan Swift
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde
"Why do you Irish always answer a question with a question?" asked President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
"Do we now?" came New York Mayor Al Smith's reply.
Lord John Dillon didn't smoke and couldn't stand any of the people who did. One morning as he was seated in the train carriage, an elderly Irishman sat opposite him and lit up his pipe.
Immediately Dillon said, "Look, my good man, this is a nonsmoking carriage and I wish that you would put that pipe away. Here is my card so that you know the important source from which this comes."
The elderly man looked at the card and put it in his pocket. However, he kept on smoking. This infuriated Dillon no end; hence, when the train stopped at a junction, Dillon got out from the carriage and began to look for a guard. When Dillon found the guard, he complained loudly and demanded that he oust the old man. The train guard went into the carriage and informed the old man that he must stop smoking. With that, the old man reached in his pocket and handed the guard Dillon's card.
"Oh, okay, your Lordship," and the guard tipped his hat and went on. When he came back to the platform, he said, "I'd like to stop him, but I don't dare. That's that old crazy politician Dillon with the blabber mouth. If I crossed him, it might cost me my job. You know what a revengeful ass he is."
The origin of the bagpipes was being discussed and the representatives of different nations were eagerly disclaiming responsibility for the instrument.
Finally, and Irishman said, "Well, I'll tell you the truth about it. The Irish invented them and sold them to the Scots as a joke; and the Scots haven't seen the joke yet!"
Father Murphy phoned the police station and said to the policeman in charge,
"I would like to report a dead donkey in front of the rectory."
The policeman said, sarcastically, "I thought you priests took care of the dead?"
Father Murphy said, "We do, but first we get in touch with their relatives."