Irish informality – charming or rude?


Sir, – Travelling between Dublin, London and Paris recently, I have had many of those small encounters with officials in airports, stations, banks and hotels where one is required to confirm one’s identity. In Dublin, I am invariably addressed as “Sean”, often with a jovial “howya” for good measure. In London and Paris I am always “Mr Boyle”. Is the Irish informality refreshing and unstuffy, or is it overfamiliar and ill-mannered? – Yours, etc,