The definitive list of everything that’s great about Northern Ireland

The Crone has been accused of hating on her homeland because of her recent bitter words about the province that gave the world Iris Robinson, the Titanic and DeLorean cars. In fact, she is very proud of her Northern Irish heritage and here lists 50 or so things that are unique to the six counties and which have given her enormous pleasure. Certainly they have shaped the person she is today (quite literally as many of them are highly calorific). It would have been too tedious to hyperlink all of these, so if you don’t know what or who they are, go to Belfast and find out. NI ex-pats, feel free to add your favorites to the list:

Would you like a few wee chips with that?” when you order a salad

The Belfast Telegraph online

soup with a potato in it

Bishops of Coleraine

Rhubarb Rock

The Linenhall Library

The Linenhall bar

Ballyaughlis (just for the pleasure of saying it–although the nursery there does a great lunch)

Hips, Haws and Blackberries growing in the sheughs

The Undertones


William Conor

The pantomime at the Opera House

Tayto cheese and onion crisps

A wee hot port

Trimble’s butchers

The Dub stores

3 kinds of potatoes served as side dishes


Dunnes Stores at Ormeau Embankment (for better value every day)

The Holy Land

William Bloat

Barry’s, Portrush

Prawns in Marie Rose sauce on wheaten bread

Miss Helen and Miss Adrienne

VCB class of ’79

Ice cream from the Royal in Lisburn

Larry McCoubrey

W.D. Flackes

The Crown Bar

Anything cooked by the Crone’s Auntie B

A Newry bath

Kerr’s Pinks


Seeing Cavehill from the plane on the flight into Belfast

Gardners on Botanic Ave

Sandy Row

Sandy Row’s Unclaimed Treasure Eveline McCambley


The Glass House in the Botanic Gardens

The new museum (hope they kept the mummy)

The buses

The way people talk to you

A bag of dulse and a  99 in Donaghadee

Making fun of Millisle


Vincent Hanna


Louis MacNeice

The Antrim Coast Road

Black Bush

The Sea Fry on a Friday night

David McKittrick

Seamus Heaney

A salad sandwich on sliced pan

Any view with Goliath or Napoleon’s nose

Good times in Wyndham Street, Lismain Street and Lead Hill Park

St Patrick’s Day at Ravenhill

Soda farls and potato bread

The old gas works

Chinese on Donegall Pass

Lavery’s Gin Palace, the Bot and the Wash

The Fullerton House timetable circa 1959 (ok, the Crone succumbed to outside pressure to add this  to her list)

The way your parents would give you whiskey on cotton wool when your teeth hurt when you were wee

Breakers in Ballycastle

Oysters and brown bread

Soup vegetables

We’ll never forget you Jimmy Sands

Ulster Weavers


The Ormeau Bakery

The Twelfth Fortnight

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
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7 Responses to The definitive list of everything that’s great about Northern Ireland

  1. Michael says:

    Yes, the mummy (Takabuti is her name) is back in the Ulster Museum.

  2. blarneycrone says:

    Glad to hear it. She scared the living daylights out of me when I was a child–I see no good reason why subsequent generations should be spared this terror

  3. Frank Hanna says:

    Add this to the list. The charming way the Belfast man takes on words he neither fully understands or can handle. True examples in my certain knowledge

    In court when asked for his income…”Your honour I claimed infidelity benefit…”

    In court an elderly lady giving evidence…”There was a delay at the begining of the surgery cos the Dacter couldn’t get an athesist”

    And at the shipyard when decimilization was introduces…”Whats a cubic foot? Dunno but get round to your solicitor, he’ll put a claim in for ya.”

  4. blarneycrone says:

    Love it–more please

  5. Frank Hanna says:

    Directions…Catholics use churches (take a left turn at St johns…) whereas protestants use pubs!!) My favourite experience was when lost outside Derry on a back road I asked an old man standing by the roadside. “How would I get to Antrim?” I asked. “Geez, if I was going to Antrim I wouldn’t start from here!”

  6. Editor says:

    The “Prawn open” – best sandwich ever.
    The Errigle Inn on a Saturday night (S’kboo playing)
    The Crown Bar
    Youse gettin’?
    The train
    Pastie supper
    Paris Buns
    Boots on Royal Avenue
    Good Vibrations Record Shop
    Caroline Records
    Fresh Garbage!!!!!!!!!

  7. blarneycrone says:

    You are losing it. You mean Boots on Donegall Street–but other than that I completely concur with your list. How could I have forgotten about Fresh Garbage? The Mourne Seafood Bar is back there now and is great. The whole area is no longer dark and pee-smelling. We should do a more up-to-date list now there is lots of things to celebrate

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