You know when you’re driving somewhere new you sit back and sort of watch what everyone else does to gauge the accepted norms, well I did that the first time I drove in Ireland. Now I’m doing the death-lane-change with the best of them.
The problem is a mass of roads with only two lanes. So when a hard shoulder arrives, you plant yourself as close as possible to the guy in front and wait for him to move half-way into the shoulder. Then you overtake – and don’t fuss about the oncoming traffic, they’ll scootch over onto their own hard shoulder as they pass.
In Aus this behaviour would freak out your fellow drivers to the point where they would spontaneously combust, but here it’s kinda normal. Once you get used to it, it works rather well.