05 Oct 2022

10 differences between Offaly townies and culchies

10 differences between Offaly townies and culchies

10 differences between Offaly townies and culchies

To people from Dublin, we as Offalians are all culchies, but within the county, there has always been a bitter divide between townies and culchies. Townies are those, like myself, who lived in the likes of Edenderry, Tullamore, Clara or Birr. Anyone else was a culchie and some distinct differences showed themselves as we grew up. Reading this will show you that the poor culchies had it hard!

1. Culchies were smarter in school...

Whether it was small class sizes or less distractions in the middle of nowhere, the culchies arrived into secondary school like a bus full of Einsteins and relegated the established 'smart ones' to mid-table. You know that girl/lad that got 600 points in the Leaving Cert in your school - they were a culchie, weren't they? They probably did extra subjects as well. Damn culchies - showing us up when we thought we were class!

2. Townies were better craic...

You can guarantee Usher here was a townie - sure wasn't my own granny an Usher - he's bound to be one of them and look at the craic he's having. What a time to be alive... When culchies were stuck in the books, we were 'streeling' the town. 

3. Culchies didn't know what kerbs was...

Beloved townie game. This one wasn't their fault, in fairness - they didn't have kerbs. They may have been able to play tennis using the grass verge in the middle of their little boreen.

4. Townies wore white boots at GAA...

You'd get away with this carry on at the soccer club, but the GAA heads weren't impressed with the shaper from the town turning up in white boots. The mere sight of him was enough to unleash the ire of the opposition manager, who routinely sent on big lads to take him out. 'White boots - thinks he's David Beckham, so he does.'

5. The Billy Bouncer/Bouncy Ball debate...

I don't know about townies from the rest of the county, but in Edenderry, this was a billy bouncer and that was it. We probably hopped them off every window and in front of every car in the town, but by God, they were great craic. Culchies arrived calling them 'bouncy balls,' and rightly provoked our disgust. Feic sake lads, where's your originality?

6. Townies can't foot turf...

The same lad from the town who wore white boots to play a GAA match in Geashill arrived to the bog in a pair of Adidas rip-ups and Nike Air Max runners and couldn't lift turf out of his way, never mind foot it. On the other hand, culchie lads were reared on it. Footing turf since before they were born - no modern machine would ever replace their drive on the bog.

7. Culchies went mad at college...

College was the culchies' Braveheart moment. No sooner had they got the sniff of freedom on the train to Galway than they were ripping up manholes and drinking buckets of porter during Rag Week. The bright sparks from secondary school couldn't handle the bright lights and went completely berserk on the beer for four years. That's not to say the townie wasn't there too giving him a hand with the odd sup!

8. Culchies were forced to go to mass...

Good old country rearing on them! Townies seemed to rebel and give up on mass far sooner than the culchies. If there was a week-long mission on at the church, the culchies were there every evening. Sunday mornings, Palm Sunday, Easter - they did it all. The townies didn't know what a mission was and were usually in bed on Sunday mornings once they'd hit the age of 10. Your mother regularly chastised you for not going, pointing out that little Mary from out the road was there. Of course she was - she got 600 points in the Leaving too, don't you know!

9. The culchies wore shoes to school...

Culchie lads had these shoes on every day with their uniform. Their parents must have thought they were sending them to Templemore, and God love them, they grew up in these shoes. They went out in them as well in later years with a nice pair of jeans - snazzy lads! Townies ditched the shoes after second class and pestered the parents for new runners every term. The holy grail was the day one culchie forgot his runners for PE and ended up trying to play basketball in a pair of these bad boys!

10. Culchies were in school two hours early...

The bus left a 7am and that was it - whether that meant you arrived at the school before the first light of the day or not. They were probably up milking cows and footing turf before they left as well, while the townies fell out of the bed when they heard the school bell out the bedroom window. Jazus, we had it handy all the same!

In the end, we all learned to set aside our differences (except the Billy Bouncer debate) and get along. At the end of the day, we're from Offaly - we're all bleeding culchies! 

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