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Cultural differences between Ireland and Northern Ireland

Northern ireland

Some Brazilians don’t know that Ireland and Northern Ireland are two different countries. Others even know this, but know little about the difference between them. So, for you to understand this subject a little better, we did a survey of the main cultural differences between them.

Despite being part of the same island, Ireland and Northern Ireland have their own characteristics, such as traditions, cuisine and even preferred musical style.

We selected five points of divergence between these countries. That way, when you move between them, you won’t make a mistake.


The Republic of Ireland has a very traditional taste in music. His songs use instruments such as the violin, flutes (different types of them), harp and some instruments that are only known on the Island, such as the bodhrán and uillean pipes. The bodhrán is like a drum, while the uillean pipes is like a bagpipe.

Musical preference in Northern Ireland is more similar to that of Great Britain as well as the United States. However, it is important to highlight that they are very eclectic in their musical taste.

Depending on the region of the country, you even find a preference for the Irish style. Despite being smaller, territorially, it seems that, in Northern Ireland, the preference of the natives is more diversified.


Traditional Christian religions such as Catholicism and Protestantism (in their variations) are prevalent in these countries, however, the Catholic faith is more common in the Republic of Ireland.

Over the years, during the formation of countries, religion has always been a reason for conflicts and disagreements. Currently, the situation is under control. Conflicts rarely occur for this reason.


Many Brazilians are confused thinking that the Republic of Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, but it is Northern Ireland that is integrated into the British crown. The Republic of Ireland, as its name implies, is an independent republic and forms part of the European Union.

Northern Ireland, like the entire United Kingdom, is not part of this economic bloc. Therefore, you need to be aware of, for example, the use of currency.


Another subtle difference between the two countries is in the cuisine. natives of both countries prefer foods made with more natural and regional ingredients, such as milk, cheese, fish and potatoes.

Some typical dishes of the Republic are:

Irish Stew – vegetable stew with mutton

Colcannon – mashed potato with kale or cabbage and soda bread

It is worth remembering that we have already mentioned here on Oi.ie10 typical Irish dishes you need to try.

Some typical Northern Irish dishes are:

  • Ulster fry – a breakfast of eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon and bread
  • Champ – mashed potato seasoned with chives
  • Fifteens – sweet made with biscuit, coconut, marshmallow and cherry

Visit these countries

As we have seen, there are some basic and cultural differences between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. However, one thing both have in common, a friendly and welcoming people. Therefore, if you are in doubt between visiting one or the other, know that both countries are enchanting.

Author: Thiago

I moved to Ireland 2012. I work as a business administrator and travel a lot to Europe with my work. I enjoy writing and athletics during my vacation and try to visit friends and family every year in Brazil.
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