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19th Dec 2019

14 cliques you always found in an Irish secondary school


We’ve all done the secondary school thing, and somehow lived to tell the tale…

Spending our formative years amongst 100+ of our peers and rivals is hard enough, without worrying about what sort of vibe you’re giving off.

But, while people often nay-say cliques, we embrace them. It either makes you all gel as a group, or provides some pretty brilliant stories when you emerge victorious on the other side.

Here are the 14 best and brightest cliques we could think of.

1. The hurling jocks

Pint of milk with every meal, never to be seen in a nightclub cause ‘trainin’, and a constant supply of rasher sandwiches in pockets to keep energy up.

Will somehow end up at multiple debs with lovely girls. Good lads.


2. The Billy Barry kids

Always exhausted and ready to scream at any given moment. No stranger to elbowing any given obstacle out of the way. Will go on about that time they were on The Toy Show for ions.

Born, bred and buttered in the art of sass, and jazz hands.

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3. The rich farmers

These hardy bucks would promise you acres of road frontage on the promise that you’ll buy them fleece thermals and bootcut jeans for the rest of their lives.

They’ve been driving since they hit double figures and boast an ever-wafting a sweet smell of root vegetables.

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4. The products of pushy Irish-dancing parents

These kids dream big and hope to someday hone their craft and travel the world – sure, fair play to them and their toned calves. They’re always late for first class due to their morning sessions, and are constantly defending how dancing is definitely a sport.

The males are laughed at for partaking in such a ‘lame’ activity, but really it’s those lads who’ve been shifting and drifting since they hit puberty.

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5. Celtic Tiger cubs

Daddy owns Fermanagh and they rent marquees as big as Oxegen’s Dance Tent every time it’s one of the kids’ Sweet 16.

Their school shirts are Ralph Lauren, they’ve a shelf of Dubarry’s and they’re not quite sure what the point of pre-drinking is.

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6. The trad players

Usually the spawn of trad players themselves, these kids get carted around to sessions and festivals from the get-go, meeting like-minded souls on their travels. They can recite every town in Ireland at age 12 and have no time for music grades.

Nine times out of ten, they’ll have a mad head on them and can often relate to the two boyras in Into The West.

7. Spicers

They always think that teachers don’t know where their smoking spot is – despite the cloud of thick, black Amber Leaf exhaust surrounding the location. They go to nightclubs with monosyllabic names like Shine, Pulse or Slick, because they knew a lad who does a night there.

Laceless shoes clad their feet and mullets don their heads, but they’re sound out, and can show you how to get with motts if you give them a chance.

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8. The lads who own quads

Always a group in every school. Usually easily excitable and own a hape of land to fling themselves around in.

You see them after every Christmas bombing it to school on their shiny new quad.

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9. The horse riders

Often short, always smelled of fresh cut grass and were generally the more experienced of the friend group due to mixed horse socials and the like.

Always wore gilets.

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10. The Girls Who Never Did P.E.

They mysteriously ‘forgot’ their gear each week and sighed on cue when told that P.E. was outside today.

When they did bring in a change of clothes, it was an atrocious mix of wildly inappropriate attire that accentuated every curve on their pubescent bodies.

Hair flicking too intensely could cause a nip slip.

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11. The GAA Captain

An all round good kid.

Will get invited to 7+ debs because of their stately stature, non-threatening sexual nature and their ability to be easily friend-zoned.

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12. The chancers

Can be male or female. Will get into nightclubs from an illegally early age due to their gift of the gab.

Generally a middle child trying to keep it real in a sea of whingers. Rumours will circulate that they’ve gotten with a teacher circa 5th year, and it’ll probably be true.

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13. The early peakers

Relatively intelligent but only devastated to be going to secondary school, unfairly plucked from their role as big fish in a small pond.

Their shiny, blonde hair has reached a mousy brown and their favourite class is Art so they can paint their feelings.

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14. And finally, those destined for greater things

Meek weakling amongst the high flyers of secondary school who keep the head down and the voice low.

Haven’t exactly grown into their ears yet, but will soon own this city and steal the boyfriends and girlfriends of the has-beens.

Oh, and they’re pale. So very pale.