Yes, Ireland has quite the past with The UK. You might even see a lot of Irish people there when you visit the country. However, make no mistake—Ireland is no longer a part of Great Britain. It's been its own independent state for decades and the Irish will be the first to make the distinction to you. You're better off not mentioning the two nations' connection to each other as well. The history between them isn't exactly a rosy one, and for many people here, it remains quite the sore spot. So remember: Ireland is its own country and the Irish are not British!
Every country has its own quirky characters and whatnot. It just so happens that Ireland's, which is the leprechaun, has become popular over the years. From fairy tales and movies to even commercial advertising, practically everyone knows that a leprechaun is and what it looks like. But don't remind the Irish about that when you're in their country. And don't go looking for one either! They don't exist and the locals here don't appreciate that the creature continues to define the country in many people's eyes. The Irish are not and never were gold-hoarding little people. And they're not here for your fairytales!
While St. Patrick's Day has certainly become quite the infamous holiday in other countries, here in Ireland, where it actually originated, it's a more solemn occasion. Though yes, many people do tend to drink a lot and end up drunk on the street during this holiday but don't think that that's what the holiday is about. For the Irish, St. Patrick remains a revered religious figure and his day should be given the same reverence and respect. And never ever call it "St. Paddy's Day" in this county either. A punch to the face is waiting for you if you do that!
The Irish are not too fond of smoking. In fact, the country was one of the first to outlaw smoking indoors and in certain public spaces. And in January 2016, adults in a car with children are no longer allowed to smoke as well, even when the window is down. If you're a smoker yourself, be sure to ask people where the designated areas for it are. You can still smoke in Ireland, but just in certain places where it's allowed. If you're caught smoking indoors, not only will you be considered rude but you could also be fined on the spot for as high as €3,000.00.
Yes, the Irish know that the weather in their country is often cold, heavy, and wet. You don't have to tell them that. They already know that! Leave the complaining to the locals, they're the ones who'll have to deal with the weather even after you return to your home country. Complaining with them will only make them feel worse. When you do it, it sort of says to them that you're not enjoying your stay in their country at all. So of course, they'll feel bad and consider you rude for it!
When you're in Ireland, it's probably best to stay on their good side. So in order to do so, there are some things you ought to not do, say, or even allude to in conversation. The more you avoid committing these mistakes, the better!
At least, what you can do is to pick out an Irish luxury rental for your home here! That will really help you enjoy your stay here!