Light switches are a funny thing in Ireland, at least to this former American construction worker/home builder. I’m used to walking into the bathroom, closing the door, and then flipping on the light; or sometimes in the dark, I will walk in automatically brushing my hand along the inner wall by the door where I’m sure to flip on the light before I am completely enclosed in darkness. Here in Ireland you don’t simply reach for the light to the side of the interior door, it’s sometimes more of a treasure hunt. In my home the light to one restroom (simply called, “toilet”….why would you call it a room of rest?) is on the outside wall of the closet entry just to the left of the door.


In my other bathroom, the switch is just to the left of the door and is simply a long string coming from the ceiling that you pull to turn on or off.


Some of the newer houses (built in the last 10-15 years) where my friends live have switches on the opposite side of the main hallway facing the bathroom, alongside the hallway switch. The switch that beats all, in my humble opinion, is found at my sister-in-law’s house. She has a small “toilet,” just off the living room, and upon careful search of the room I simply could not find the light switch. I searched the walls inside the room along with the entire wall on the outside, after that I looked for strings from the ceiling, and then by the sink just in-case there was a pull switch under the light by the sink…none. My nephew, upon seeing my confusion said, “Do you want me to turn on the light?” As I watched, he ran across the room and around the corner to the entrance of the family room; there beside the entry door was a set of switches, one to turn on the living room light, and at last, one for the toilet. Why didn’t I think of that? On a side note- this toilet has a latch on the outside of the door rather than inside as well. I wouldn’t want to be caught in there with pranksters in the house!


Heather Cammack
I came to live in Ireland several years ago following the love of my life…an Irish man. Now I’m happily married and the mother three. We live in the country with a view of an ancient castle ruins out our back windows and each day I am grateful to be alive, to be loved, to be here.