IN IRELAND, THE apology is a subtle art form.
As Ronan Keating memorably said:
So we’re here to help you recognise when a fellow Irish person is apologising to you. It may take one of the following key forms:
1. The ‘Small Favour’
In which you pretend that the incident never happened, but are extra nice to the person in some way. It is important that you never acknowledge why this is.
Suggestions include: cooking a favourite dinner or picking up ‘something nice’ at the shops for no reason in particular, just on a whim, don’t know why you’re asking.
If interrogation continues, simply change the subject.
2. The ‘Your Dad Is’
In which someone else simply does the apologising for you. Doesn’t have to be a dad trick this, but often is. An essential face-saver.
3. The ‘Mumble’
When you next meet them, awkwardly mumble something inaudible. Everyone knows what you’re trying to say. You don’t need to actually say it. GOD.
4. The ‘Downplay’
In which you simply tell them ‘Relax!’
Basically you make like it’s all been blown out of proportion and your victim, as a reasonable person, should see this. Chances are that they’ll go along with it, to avoid ‘making a fuss’.
No Irish person likes to make a fuss.
5. The ’2AM Special’
Act like nothing is wrong until you are extremely drunk and in the depths of a night out. (This can be months after the incident in question.) Then unload your feelings in one impassioned, possibly tearful outburst.
When you’ve sobered up, never speak of it again.
6. And in desperate situations, the ‘Run Away, Run Away’
Simply avoid the other person, forever and ever, from now on. If this means altering your entire group of friends, so be it. The main thing is to ensure you don’t have to deal with this thing.
Warning: in expert hands this can be a lifelong endeavour.