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Ireland - A Great Overview with Fun Facts

Updated on May 10, 2016

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This hub will list a lot of interesting and fun facts about the country of Ireland that you might not have known.

Country: The island of Ireland is actually two countries.

The Republic: officially known as Eire, in Ireland is comprised of 26 counties and is an
independent country with its own government, administration, army, navy and air force
It no longer has a connection to the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland: is still part of the United Kingdom and consists of 6 counties and it did have its own administration up until 2002, but it is suspended now.

Neutrality: The Republic has long maintained a policy of neutrality, and they are not a member of NATO. During WWII, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, requested that Ireland allow allied forces to use the western sea ports in the Battle of the Atlantic and this request was refused.

Transition to Republic: In June, 1932, the British penalized Ireland by imposing a 40% tax on Irish imports in retention of the Irish Land Annuities. To this day some Irish homeowners owe yearly ground rent to British landlords

Local Authorities: They do not control the police (Guardia) or military. This is done on a national level. There have been several articles about corruption in the Guardia in the news lately.

Legal Facts: The Supreme Court is the highest court, and the lowest are the district courts. The Supreme Court is the last recourse for legal appeals and includes the Chief Justice, the President of the High Court plus four other judges and they normally deal with constitutional matters.

Capital: Dublin was founded by the Vikings in 988 and originally called Duhn Linn (which means Black Pool in Irish).

Irealand -Two Countries within One

source irelandtravel
source irelandtravel

Irish Facts

Religion: The majority of the Irish are Roman Catholics (88%).

Patron Saint: Saint Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland about 430 AD. According to Irish legend, on judgment day Christ will be the judge all nations, but St. Patrick will be the judge of the Irish. The first St. Patrick Day’s Parade was in 1737. I’m not sure how all the drinking to celebrate fits into the celebration of a Saint.

National Language: Gaelic is Ireland's national language. Only in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas of Ireland will you find that Irish is used as the everyday language. In all other parts of Ireland, English is the spoken language.

Ireland’s Minerals: There are plentiful supplies of peat or turf, which is harvested by power production under the state’s company Bond na Mona. They have kilometers of railway line just for this purpose. They have no coal or iron. The next most important mineral is lead-zinc. There are hopes that ongoing exploration gas fields will be further developed and additionally, there is minor ongoing exploration for oil.

Highest Mountain: Killarney, County Kerry is home to the highest mountain - Carrantouhill, part of the mountain range the McGillycuddy Reeks.

Longest River: Shannon River is 240 miles long and it connects with 3 lakes.

Senior Citizen Perks: The Irish government has given its senior citizens some new perks in recent years. Everyone over 65 gets free bus and rail travel in the Republic, as well as free bus and train tickets to Belfast. They also get the expected old-age pension plus; there is a good health support system. Pensioners do not need to pay a TV license; there are also subsidies towards fuel (gas or electricity). In addition, they get free telephone line rental and a small concession towards phone costs. I'm not there yet, but those perks sound good to me!

Shamrock

source commons wickimedia
source commons wickimedia

Leprecon

source funwithirish
source funwithirish

Entertainment of all Sorts

Music: Ireland has some wonderful music with the best known rock band being U2, closely followed by The Boomtown Rats, Tin Lizzy and more recently Boyzone and Westlife. And, we certainly can’t forget to mention the Celtic Women for their beautiful voices and songs

Irish Actors: Some of the best include Richard Harris, Pierce Bronsan, Cillian Murphy and Collin Farrell (yes, he’s really, really cute). There are many others as well.

Writers: Ireland has produced Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, Maeve Binchy and Celia Aherne., to name just a few.

Famous Outlaws: Grace O’Malley known as the Queen of the Pirates operated off the west coast of Ireland and Ned Kelly (son of an Irish convict) was an infamous Australian outlaw.

Irish Delicacies: Drisheen, a pudding made from cows, pigs or sheep blood. (Oh, Yum!) White pudding is a mixture of pork, cereal, bread, fat and suet and Periwinkles are sea snails boiled in salted water.

Guinness: A trip to Ireland must include a tour of the brewery and a glass of this velvety stout called the “Black Stuff”.

Bailey’s Irish Cream: This very popular liquor has been around since the 1970’s and yes, it’s tasty.

Irish Pubs: Many have a “trad night”, plus customary sing-a-longs, and Irish dancing, and they say you are in for a “Cracking evening”. That must be a good time!

Sports: The people are passionate about Gaelic games such as football, hurling, rounders, handball and camogie. Rugby and soccer are also well liked.

Hiking and Outdoors: The Cavan Way, The Dingle Way and The Kerry Way are some areas with nice hiking routes.

Green Hat

source funwithirish
source funwithirish

Do the Irish Have a Sense of Humor!

Sense of Humor: This may be the last topic, but not the least. The Irish are witty and like to play with words. Here are a few examples:

  • "not backwards in coming forwards" - means a person is not shy.
  • "no flies on him" - means a person is not easily deceived.
  • "she has a tongue that would clip a hedge" - means a person who gossips.
  • A pig, allowed to live in Irish farmhouses in olden days, was once known as "the gentleman that pays the rent."
  • "come for a day and stay for a week" - means someone outstaying their welcome.
  • Just a few facts to ponder over - for a small island we certainly have a lot going for us!

I hope you've enjoyed the interesting and fun fact collection.

© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Stephen mc grath, I am so glad you approve of my article and I very much appreciate your comments. I looked up your last few words that I didn't know what they meant, so life and health to you also. Thank you.

  • profile image

    Stephen mc grath 

    7 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments about my dear EIRE!!! Beatha agus sláinte :D

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Cybersupe, Thank your for you kind words. I will check out your article.

  • CYBERSUPE profile image

    CYBERSUPE 

    8 years ago from MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

    Loved reading your article on Ireland. Extremely informative and interesting. I posted a Hub recently on the finding of the Mass grave of 57 Irish railroad workers back in 1832. Thank You for sharing Ireland with mw.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    BK, Thank you for your comment. Your trip sounds wonderful. I would love to go.

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 

    8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    I had such a great time when I visited island - I stayed in Dublin but took a bus up the Dublin Road to spend a day in Belfast - it was peaceful and quiet. I traveled alone which I often do and I was treated so very, very well. I enjoyed the kindness of strangers, and lots of good conversation. Of course on the tour bus - we had to sing about "Sweet Molly Malone." I want to go back but outside of the capital cities. I want to visit the amazing Irish ruins and see Queen Maeve's Grave. Of course I've read all of Maeve Binchy's books - more than once.

    Ireland is a place you must visit - and then return to!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Roberta and Habee, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 

    8 years ago from Georgia

    Loved the read! My middle daughter is named Shannon, after the Irish river!

  • Roberta99 profile image

    Roberta99 

    8 years ago

    Great Hub Pam. Lots of good information.

  • Money Glitch profile image

    Money Glitch 

    8 years ago from Texas

    Wow interesting facts Pamela, especially about how the Irish treats their senior citizens; that's awesome! Thanks for sharing your insight! :)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Janny, Thanks for the comment and I would have been glad to share the information! A B is not too bad though.

  • JannyC profile image

    JannyC 

    8 years ago

    I so could of used this hub in High School! Very informative with some extra fun facts. I so would of gotta an A instread of the B if I had this hub for reference. Hahaha.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Katyzzz, A sense of humor is very healthy! Glad you were able to return to the hub. Ireland looks like it would be so much fun to visit. Thanks.

  • katyzzz profile image

    katyzzz 

    8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    I have reurned as promised and I have always been just a little bit in love with Ireland, my sense of humour is sometimes a bit difficult for others to follow, but some appreciate my witty comments as I give them a good laugh.

    My own family, husband, wife and 3 children, with my being the wife, thrived on humour and it used to keep as all laughing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Thank you so much for your comment.

  • katyzzz profile image

    katyzzz 

    8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    This is so good and so interesting Pamela and so very well done, I've Irish blood in me so I must return when I have more time to take my time in reading this delightful hub

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Mystique, Thank you so much for your comment.

  • Mystique1957 profile image

    Mystique1957 

    8 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

    Dear Pam, this was certainly really enjoyable! I am learning more here at Hub´s than reading in a Library, LOL. Interesting facts and customs! It was a fun read!

    Thumbs and Shamrocks up!

    warmest regards and blessings,

    Al

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Vrajavala, You may be right. Thanks for your comment.

  • vrajavala profile image

    vrajavala 

    8 years ago from Port St. Lucie

    I think they keep trying to force Ireland to join the European Union.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Hello, Thanks for the comment.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Another lovely hub about Ireland which I so enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Patriot, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks.

  • profile image

    partisan patriot 

    8 years ago

    Pamela

    Loved your hub; with a last name like Quinn, how could I help but love it!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Nancy, Ann and Sheia, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • sheila b. profile image

    sheila b. 

    8 years ago

    I always enjoy meeting the Irish college kids who come to the US to work in the summer. They laugh at how so many Americans say 'I'm Irish' but have never been to Ireland.

  • Ann Nonymous profile image

    Ann Nonymous 

    8 years ago from Virginia

    I want to go all the more now, Pamela! Thanks for a great hub!

  • nancy_30 profile image

    nancy_30 

    8 years ago from Georgia

    I enjoyed reading your hub. I've always loved learning interesting things and facts about places.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Tom, That was a good movie. Thanks for your comment.

  • Tom Whitworth profile image

    Tom Whitworth 

    8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

    Pamela,

    I always think of the old John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara movie "The Quiet Man" when I think of Ireland. He has a brawl with his brother-in-law.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    BPOP, My neighbors went last year and loved. I would love to visit also. thanks.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 

    8 years ago

    I've never been to Ireland, but someday I hope to go. I know it's beautiful!

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