How to Flush an Irish Toilet

Note: We can’t take credit for this picture. We did not, at the time, think it necessary to photograph any Irish toilets. This image is further inaccurate because all our Airbnb hosts were male, and their decor generally gravitated more towards superheroes and shaving cream.

We believe in posting about serious topics that actually matter to travellers, so without further ado…here’s how to flush an Irish toilet.

Like many innocent, unsuspecting tourists we were caught out by Ireland’s plumbing. Not sure what that means? Well, we’ll tell you:

The #1 rule of Irish toilet flushing: If it can go wrong, it will go wrong.

Picture this: You just arrived in Ireland, it’s late, and you’re about to fall asleep fully dressed on the little twin bed in your Airbnb room. The only thing keeping you awake is the fact that you need to brush your teeth pretty urgently, and your travel buddy is hogging the house’s only bathroom.

Still, you’re drifting further and further into sleep…When the irksome sound of a toilet repeatedly flushing pulls you back into consciousness.

Quiet footsteps on the landing, almost like someone is trying to tiptoe… Then your travel buddy opens the door to your room with a look on her face that could very well mean she just murdered your host and wants you to help her hide the body.

“Hey, can you help me?” (She’s whispering, which can’t mean anything good). “I can’t figure out how to flush the toilet.”

So two minutes later you’re both standing together in the tiny square box that is the bathroom, looking down at a politely sized unflushable turd.

Obviously you think she’s an idiot, and you try to flush the toilet yourself. No luck. And even worse, it’s a shared bathroom. Your pleasant, middle-aged host who is currently downstairs talking to his dog could come upstairs to use the bathroom himself any minute.

And then there’s the dreaded reality that comes next…Do you awkwardly creep downstairs (having already declined your host’s offer to drink a cup of tea together) and ask him how to flush a toilet?

As if Americans don’t already have enough of a reputation as heathen baboons.

Fortunately, you won’t have to put yourself in this situation, because we’re here to help. Here’s what you do:

Irish toilet flushing 101

  1. Limit the size of your bowel movements. No big meals for you… Irish plumbing has its limitations, even when you know all the flushing secrets.
  2. Use as little toilet paper as you can possibly get by with.
  3. Get it right on the first flush. If you mess this up, the toilet will spend the next 24 hours preparing for its second flush. You only have one chance.
  4. Plant your feet firmly and put one hand on the handle.
  5. Firmly and confidently press the handle down.
  6. Do not immediately remove the pressure, hold the handle down for approximately three seconds longer than you usually would.
  7. If all else fails, take a leaf out of the book of the Shirehampton shit slinger.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information on the many unfathomable mysteries of Irish pluming.

— Your friendly neighborhood travel whales

6 thoughts on “How to Flush an Irish Toilet

  1. 😂😂😂 one of the best article I read, I burst laughing early morning 😂😂😂


    1. Thanks 🙂 🙂 We’re just glad we can prepare you for when the worst happens

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Waiting new articles, thank you )))

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My spleen hurts from laughing. The title hooked me into reading, thanks for posting!


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