The Irish are strongly social.  I would characterize them as friendly.  With one exception, I always found locals willing to talk with you.  To exchange ideas, stories, experiences, local lore, history, and personal anecdotes. 

For example, while in Dublin, there was a fire in the building next to the hostel.  Obviously the fire department arrived.  What was missing for the most part was the Garda (police).  There were present but undercover rather than a strong presence, blocking the streets etc. 

Being the tourist that I was, I was taking photos of the action.  Once the fire was over,  one of the firemen came over and asked if I got any good pictures.  He then gave me his card and asked that if I had any to send them to him.  We then talked for another forty minutes about his experience, training, why we were in Dublin, etc.  While Jim and I were talking with him, several of the undercover Garda came over and also talked with us. 

Of course, this cultural value is also captured in their folklore and history.  Think of the Blarney stone.  The story behind it is reflective of the gift of the gab.  However, I found that gift of the gab to be much more meaningful that just surface talk. I found them to be genuinely interested in talking, often in meaningful ways.