Facts About Ireland
Ireland is not a member of NATO. “VAT” refers to a valueadded tax which is tacked onto goods bought in Ireland. “Irish” is spoken as a first language in the Gaeltacht.
How Big Is Ireland
If you want to know the size of Ireland, consider a trip to America’s northeast coast. Maine is approximately the size of Ireland. But if you want to meet Irish immigrants, don’t restrict your travels to the north. The American South also had its share, with New Orleans hosting the largest contingent.
In Other Languages In Latin, Ireland is referred to as Hibernia. In Gaelic, it’s Known as Eire.
Hugh Leonard wrote, “The problem with Ireland is that it’s a country full of genius, but with absolutely no
Ireland’s First King
The first undisputed high king of Ireland was Brian Boru. Author Tommy Makem wrote the work Four Green Fields. According to legend, an Irishman sailed to America in 550 A.D. St. Brandan the Navigator was his name.
Ireland is not the home of the potato. It was imported to Ireland from America. Walter Raleigh introduced the potato to Ireland. Approximately 100,000 people died during the Irish Potato Famine. And while potatoes might have gained fame during the famine, fish was known as famine food.
The term “Irish coffee” was invented at the Buena Vista Bar in San Francisco by journalist Stanton Delaplane. While we’re on the subject of food and beverages, Vinegar Hill is located in County Wexford.
The oldest form of Irish dance music is the jig. While Scotland is famous for its bagpipes, Ireland is known for the Uillean pipes, which use a bellows strapped to the player’s elbow to generate air. The phrase “Erin Go Bragh” means “Ireland Forever.”
The “Drags” refer to dog races. The seven distinctly Irish breeds of dog are Irish Wolfound, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, the SoftCoated Wheated Terrier and Glen Imaal Terrier.
Irish Geography and More
The longest geographical name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia, Co. Galway. The Barney stone slab was stolen from the 1951 San Francisco exhibit by a mystery man. “Fianna Fail” was founded by Eamon de Valera in 1926.
The oldest heraldic symbol of Ireland is the harp, not the shamrock. Brian Boru’s harp is preserved at Trinity College. The harp was played by our Celtic ancestors.
About 40.7 million Americans are of Irish descent. The most popular surname in Ireland is not O’Grady or O’Sullivan, but Murphy. About 28% of Australians are of Irish descent. About 40% of U.S. Presidents had Irish ancestors.
Hugh Leonard wrote, “The problem with Ireland is that it’s a country full of genius, but with absolutely no talent.” Sir John Pentland Mahaffy
wrote, “In Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs.”
Irish Red Hair
While red hair and Ireland are synonymous, only about 4% of the Irish population has red hair. American icon Walt Disney once made a movie about Ireland called Darby O’Gill & the Little People. In other artsrelated trivia, the song “An Irish Lullaby” was immortalized by legendary singer Bing Crosby.
“The Creature” and “The Jar” are other names for alcohol.
The name of homemade whiskey is “poteen.” The dandelion is often called the “Irish Daisy.” “Black Pool” is another name for Dublin.
IrishAmericans and American Infrastructure Irish Americans were prominent in the building and transportation trades. Many Irish were responsible for America’s bridges, tunnels, and subways.
People From Irish Lore The fairy women who predict death are known as the “Banshees”. “Seanchai” refers to an Irish storyteller. The “White Moths” are the “Tinkers,” or Irish gypsies. A “puca” is fairy that often appears as a black horse.
Queen Elizabeth and the Irish The order, “Hang the harpers wherever found,” was given by Queen Elizabeth, who wanted to rid the region of all aspects of Irish culture in the 17th century. The term, “paddy wagon” refers to the fact that in the 1800s a police wagon would be dispatched to Irish ghettoes to remove the “boyos.” To outsiders, it seemed that all Irishmen were named “Paddy,” hence the term.
St. Patrick’s Arrival In Ireland St. Patrick first arrived in Ireland in 432 A.D. He gained fame for reportedly raising people from the dead. While St. Patrick is usually depicted as wearing green, you might have heard the term, “St. Patrick’s blue.” That’s because blue was Ireland’s official color at one time.
The Book of Darrow The oldest of the great Irish illuminated manuscripts is the Book of Darrow, which dates back to 650 A.D. The first day of the Celtic New Year is celebrated November 1, when the deceased spirits of ancestors returned to be near the living. The annual matchmaking festival is held in Ireland in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare.
The Giant’s Causeway The Giant’s Causeway is located in Antrim. Cooling lava was responsible for its formation. And, while we’re on the subject of famous places, Brian Boru was buried in Armagh.
The “Golden Age of Ireland” The “Golden Age of Ireland” refers to the years 700 to 900 A.D.
While we’re on the subject of history, the oldest bridge crossing the Liffy was Queensbridge, built in 1764. Meanwhile, the oldest licensed pub in Ireland is the Brazen Head on Bridge Street, which has held a license since 1666.
Turf Bogs Most of the turf bogs are located in the midlands. The bogs consist of nondisintegrated remains of plant life. The shillelagh was originally used to instruct the Irish in sword fighting when they were not allowed to use swords.
Why Irish Have a Reputation As Drinkers In Dublin, nursing mothers are given Guinness, which
is believed to stimulate milk production.
World’s Largest Irish Festival The largest Irish festival in the world is the Irish Fest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Irish Fest occurs every summer at the same festival grounds as Summerfest.