±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Business Culture

Ireland - Business Culture

The Irish generally conduct business within their own network of contacts, and it can be difficult to break into this unless you have a personal introduction. Once good contacts are established, you will get many referrals if you deliver a good service. Preliminary informal meetings are often conducted casually over coffee or at the golf course. The Irish are often quite suspicious of foreigners initially, although they are always warm and friendly.

The Irish enjoy lively debate and conversation, and will often discuss controversial topics such as religion and politics. It is advisable not to raise such subjects unless your host does. Note that the Catholic Church still has a strong influence, and be careful never to criticize the Irish or their country, as they are very proud. Families are close-knit here: many businesses are family-owned and nepotism is quite acceptable.

Meetings should be arranged a couple of weeks in advance, via the company's secretary. Usual office hours are 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. You should be punctual, although your hosts may turn up a little late.

The normal form of greeting is a firm handshake with good eye contact, and business cards are exchanged. The titles Mr, Mrs or Ms with family names should be used when first meeting, but it is common to move to first name terms very quickly. Business dress is conservative, consisting of suits and ties for men, and suits or modest dresses for women.

Meetings begin with small talk, and are fairly unstructured - the Irish seldom stick to an agenda. Preferred communication styles are direct: you should avoid exaggeration or aggressive sales techniques. Always remain modest about your own achievements, as the Irish don't like boasting, and prefer to judge people on their actions.

It is common practice to haggle over prices, and you should be prepared to compromise to secure a deal. Business culture is quite hierarchical, and if your meeting is with a sufficiently senior person they may reach a decision immediately; otherwise there may be a delay while they consult senior colleagues. It is not normal practice to give gifts in Irish business culture. If you are invited to a private home, take a small gift of flowers, chocolates or wine.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.