1. Original sin.
2. The weather.
3. The 800 years of oppression.
4. A shortage of natural resources.
5. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak
6. Red hair.
7. The Celtic temperament.
Do read the whole list. This comes via Maria over at Crooked Timber, where there was a lively thread on the McNally list, with participants explaining a few of the less familiar references for folks who aren't native Irish.
McNally uses several runs of escalating excuses, and also quotes several poems and songs, including "34. Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing/For the love of one's country is a terrible thing/It banishes fear with the speed of a flame/And it makes us all part of the patriot game." Since I post music most every year, I'll repost this pair. Sláinte!