Customs & Conventions


It may be necessary to make an appointment to meet people. It is considered rude not to keep an appointment. If you are unable to keep an appointment you should cancel and give as much notice as possible.

Calendar Dates

In Ireland dates are written with the day first followed by the month and then the year. For example 20 September 2016 is 20/9/2016.


Irish people will chat casually to people they have only just met. A favourite topic of conversation is the weather.  It is not polite to ask a person about his/her income, marital status or religion.


While some students will be more accustomed to eating using chopsticks, or their hands, knives and forks, known as cutlery, are predominantly used in Ireland. At formal dinners, it can be confusing if there is more than one of each, at each table setting. The standard practice is to start at the outside and work in, using a different one for each of the meal courses.  


All people deserve respect regardless of their gender, ethnic and racial background, sexual orientation, occupation or economic circumstances.


Clearing your throat noisily, blowing your nose in front of others, and not using a handkerchief or a tissue paper are all frowned upon. Spitting is impolite.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones should be switched off during appointments, meetings and lectures. You should excuse yourself if you urgently need to take a call and apologise for the inconvenience. 


Prices of goods are fixed and publicly displayed. Bargaining is not common practice.


Punctuality is important, whether you have an appointment or have been invited to a social event.  If you are running late, or need to cancel the appointment, it is considered polite to contact the person that you have made arrangements with and let them know. One exception is parties (except dinner parties), as they rarely start on time. 


When waiting for service it is customary to form an orderly queue (line) and to wait your turn.  Skipping the queue is considered to be unacceptable and rude. 


Women in Ireland are entitled to equal respect and status as men in all areas of life and tend to have more independence and responsibility than some other cultures. It is usual for women to go out and about on their own and to travel widely, and there are few formalities about dress.

International Office

Oifig Idirnáisiúnta

Roseleigh, Western Road, Cork, T12 R229

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