This Is Not Us.

We're challenging the negative stereotypes attached to Ireland and the Irish people - This Is Not Us.

Following research for this campaign, we uncovered predictive search data which shows that many incorrect and misleading perceptions of the Irish still prevail globally - the most common of which link the Irish to fighting, drinking, potatoes and holding grudges.

The This Is Not Us campaign aims to confront these perceptions head-on by using them to visualise what a person would look like if they were true. The resulting imaginary character, Paddy McFlaherty, shows just how misleading these stereotypes can be. Created using CGI and based entirely on perceptions, this character displays and embodies how, according to Google search suggestions, Irish stereotypes still exist - something which EPIC are hoping to change.

 

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum exists to show who the Irish really are, as told through the unforgettable stories of those who left our shores, influencing and shaping the world along the way.

We know that the Irish are more than just stereotypes – we are inventors, poets, designers, leaders and changemakers. Our music, literature, culture, sport, food and dance attract millions of people to our country each year.

Dr. Patrick Greene, CEO and Museum Director of EPIC said of the campaign:

This is not us’ is a challenge for the world to assess their assumptions about the Irish and evolve their perceptions beyond stereotypes. As an experience that prides itself on delivering an authentic and true understanding of Ireland and its people, this is what we aim to do.”

This isn't the first time we've campaigned against stereotypical and clichéd depictions of the Irish. In 2019, EPIC offered free tickets to visitors who handed in their plastic St Patrick’s Day merchandise at the door.

Aileesh Carew, Director of Sales and Marketing, said:

“This campaign highlights that there are still many misleading perceptions about Ireland and the Irish people. We would like to invite people to come to EPIC for themselves and help us to set the record straight. Come and learn more about Ireland’s history, the Irish people who left this island and the true impact that they had, and continue to have, on the world.”

 

Visit EPIC to learn all about the Irish impact on the world - get your tickets here.

Have you seen Paddy McFlaherty around town?

Irish Change Makers


Peter Rice, 1935-1992
Rice was an Irish structural engineer, born in Louth. He was involved in the design and build of Sydney Opera House and the Pompidou Centre, France among other projects. Christened the “James Joyce of structural engineering”.
He believed in new ideas, invention and turning accepted ideas on their heads.


Dame Katherine Londsdale, 1903 – 1971
A pioneer in x-ray crystallography, Londsdale was the first woman appointed a professor at UCL. She elucidated the structure of diamond. A rare form of diamond is named ‘lonsdaleite’ in her honour.


Robert Boyle, 1627 – 1691
Born in Waterford and later immigrating to England, Boyle is often heralded as the ‘Father of Chemistry’. He coined ‘Boyle’s Law’ and conducted research into air pressure.


Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean, 1874 – 1922, 1877 – 1938
Ireland has produced many famous explorers, including Ernest Shackleton (whose expeditions to Antarctica and the South Atlantic are legendary) and Kerryman Tom Crean, who was with Shackleton’s Endurance party, and on Scott’s last expedition to the South Pole, though (luckily) not selected for the final fatal leg.


Robert Mallet, 1810 – 1881
Robert Mallet was the father of earthquake science. He conducted the first controlled science experiments on a Dublin beach. He later moved to England and went on to conduct the first scientific investigation of an earthquake zone in Naples, Italy and compile the first atlas of earthquakes that revealed the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ for the first time.


John Tyndall, 1820 - 1893
John Tyndall from County Carlow is a major figure in 19th century science. He provided the first experimental proof for Pasteur’s germ theory of disease, the first scientific explanation for why the sky is blue, and crucially, is the first to realise the greenhouse warming effect of certain gases. He succeeded Michael Faraday as director of London’s prestigious Royal Institution. Several modern climate change institutes are named in his honour.


Agnes Clarke, 1842 – 1907
Born in Cork and later moving to London, Clarke was an astronomer. In 1892, she was awarded the Actonian Prize of 100 guineas by the Royal Institution of Great Britain. As a founding member of the British Astronomical Association Clarke attended its meetings regularly, as well as those of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1903, alongside Lady Huggins, she was elected an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society, a rank previously held only by two other women.


Sir Charles Parsons, 1854 – 1931
Parsons’ grandfather was a peer of County Offaly and the owners of Birr Castle. Parsons is most famous for inventing the steam turbine. It could be harnessed directly to generate electricity and ushered in the modern electric world.


Robert Fulton, 1765 – 1815
Fulton built the first practical submarine, the ‘Nautilus’, for Napoleon Bonaparte and is credited with inventing the world’s earliest naval torpedoes for the British Navy, as well as the first successful steamboats in 1777. His parents were born in Kilkenny.


John Philip Holland, 1840 – 1914
Holland was an engineer who developed the first submarine to be formally commissioned by the US Navy, as well as the first Royal Navy submarine. A submarine, the Ram, was designed by John Philip Holland for use by the Fenian Brotherhood against the British. The Ram's construction and launch in 1881 was funded by the Fenians' Skirmishing Fund. Officially Holland Boat No. II, the role of the Fenians in its funding led to the New York Sun dubbing the vessel the ‘Fenian Ram’.


Louis Brennan, 1852 – 1932
In Australia, this Castlebar native developed the world’s first guided missile. He moved to England from Mayo when the British Navy engaged him as an inventor. Also invented arguably the first tilting train and an early type of helicopter. Brennan was born in Mayo and later immigrated to Australia.


Sir James Martin, 1893 – 1981
Martin co-founded the Martin Baker Aircraft Company. After the death of his partner, Capt. Valentine Baker, in a test flight, Martin switched to pilot safety design, focusing on planes designed for the British Royal Air Force in WWII and pioneered the airplane ejector seat.


James Hoban, 1755-1831
An Irish architect, best known for designing the White House in Washington, D.C. In 1981, Hoban’s portrait appeared on stamps in the USA alongside an image of the White House – he became a symbol of America. Hoban's design influenced the style of other government buildings in Washington, particularly the executive office buildings designed by George Hadfield.


Peter Rice, 1935-1992
Louth born engineer involved in design and build of Sydney Opera House and the Pompidou Centre, France among others. Nicknamed the “James Joyce of structural engineering”. He believed in new ideas, invention and turning accepted ideas on their heads.


Lucien Bull, 1876-1972
An Irish immigrant to France, he pioneered high-speed photography. In 1904 took first successful high speed film of a fly at 1200 frames a second, an achievement he progressively bettered over the next fifty years, reaching 1 million images per second in 1952.

 

About the data

The data we used to build Paddy came from Google's Search Autocomplete. They do not necessarily reflect opinions that people actually hold, but are algorithmically-generated responses to an assumed search term.

As Google explain:

"You come to Google with an idea of what you’d like to search for. As soon as you start typing, predictions appear in the search box to help you finish what you’re typing. These time-saving predictions are from a feature called Autocomplete."

Google also explains how these terms are generated:

"Autocomplete predictions reflect searches that have been done on Google. To determine what predictions to show, our systems begin by looking at common and trending queries that match what someone starts to enter into the search box."

We used 6 of the suggested terms, each one a familiar stereotype.

  • The Irish are known for Drinking (85,000,000 results)
  • The Irish are known for Fighting (78,300,000 results)
  • The Irish are known for Temper (7,280,000 results)
  • The Irish are known for Potatoes (67,300,000 results)
  • The Irish are known for Holding Grudges (594,000 results)
  • The Irish are known As drunks (27,600,000 results)

*Search results from 30/06/22