This article seeks to establish a poetics of irony in Early Middle Irish literature centring on anticlerical irreverence, misogyny, and ethnic stereotyping. Using a cluster of tenth-century narratives in the Book of Leinster, this study reads within and between texts to attempt to delineate conventions of genre and style which can be used to make the case for ironic readings of these and other texts. It is tentatively suggested that such anecdote-length humorous texts may have been used for pedagogical purposes, and the relationship between anticlerical texts and those which critique poets is briefly explored.