17 Ireland facts you probably didn’t know

Since I lived in Ireland last 15 months, I’ve met amazing people from all sides of the planet, as well as I’ve learnt many Ireland facts, about this little green country.

The list below are things that people might or might not know, but I found them extremely new considering the fact that I’m from a place so different than Ireland:

#1 Even though the name of the island is Ireland, it’s divided between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. Southern Ireland was officially declared a republic in 1949 and separated from UK. Europeans might be knowing but, many times I was asked by friends that if Ireland belongs to UK or not.

#2 Although English is the dominant language, Irish is the national language and it’s completely different than English. However, as a result of immigration, Polish is the most widely spoken language in Ireland after English, with Irish as the third most spoken.

#3 Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is home to more than one quarter of the country’s population.

#4 The world famous beer called Guinness is from a Dublin brewery started by Arthur Guinness – who leased the land the factory sits on for 9,000 years.

 

#5 It was an Irishman named James Hoban who designed the White House.

#6 The oldest pub in Ireland, Sean’s Bar, was founded in about 900 AD, making it over 1,100 years old.

#7 One of Ireland’s favorite sports, most of us even never heard the name, hurling, has been around for about 2,000 years.

#8 The national symbol of Ireland isn’t the shamrock – it’s the harp! (The harp is also the symbol of Guinness – and they were using it before the country decided to!)

#9 First tax free duty free shops started at Ireland’s Shannon Airport in 1947. 

#10 Guinness brewery employees started Guinness Book of World Records in 1950. They were inspired after an argument about the fastest game bird in Europe.

#11 Being drunk in public is illegal in Ireland.

#12 Halloween originated in Ireland. Halloween as we know today actually originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when the people would light bonfires and wear scary costumes to ward off unwelcome spirits.

#13 Gay marriage is legal in Ireland. The country where abortion is illegal, surprisingly gay marriage is accepted in 2015.

#14 The Titanic was built in Belfast, in Northern Ireland, and its last port of call was Cobh (or Cove), at the southern end of the island.

#15 Playboy was banned in Ireland until 1995.

#16 Ireland has the fourth largest stadium in Europe. Dublin’s Croke Park, capacity is 82,300, is the fourth largest stadium in Europe after stadiums in Barcelona, England, and Ukraine.

#17 Irish weather is not a myth.  Yes, that’s true that it’s always raining in Ireland. Even though temperature never goes below zero, dark winter and wet climate might not help to avoid you to go into depression.

I hope that you will find this Ireland facts list useful, if there is anything you don’t agree with or you’d like to add something to the list, let me know! 

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15 thoughts to “17 Ireland facts you probably didn’t know”

    1. My family is from Northern Ireland, County Tyrone. All of them immigrated in the 1800’s to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have spent time in the south of Ireland, more time in the North. I lived in England 1952-1955, as my husband was with the Eighth Air Force, as was my Uncle Charles McMenamin ln 1942, who was a waist gunner on a Bomber. My Uncle was shot down over Germany on his third mission and spent 3 years in a German prisoner of war camp. My visit to the North of Ireland was to find out more about my Family. Father was a McMenamin from small village in County Tyrrone, Mother was a Regan from County Cork.

      1. Incredible story Kathleen! Your effort to search your family & roots is applaudable. It should have been very emotional seeing the places where your parents are from!

  1. I love reading facts about a country I am somewhere planning to see. I never knew about the Northern & Southern Ireland as embarrassingly for me it was the UK, Great I know that now 🙂 Although I don’t drink so I kinda like it’s illegal to be drunk in public there 😀

    1. Happy to know that the article was useful & informative :)) It’s not easy to know everything if you’re from another continent. The things can be easy for somebody maybe not for another.

    2. I understand you completely Shibani.. I was the same 🙂 Everyone knows their own geography and culture. If you live in an another continent, surely you will know more about your place and more ignorance about other places 🙂

  2. This is a great list! I seriously had no Idea about some of these, bad number 11 blew my mind haha, how is everyone not in jail??

    1. Hahaha, I was thinking about that time to time but they couldn’t do enough space for it, I guess :))) Instead there are organisations working on alcoholism!

  3. Really interesting and awesome facts about Ireland! I had no idea Polish was the second most widely spoken language after English (and I speak Polish). But it definitely makes sense based on immigration!

  4. I just need to say that that dog at the pub in the picture is totally ruling! I visited Ireland recently, and I loved the pub culture. So seeing that pup just chill at the bar and totally ruling the place made me smile. Pubs really are the greatest gathering spaces!

  5. I love Ireland; far too long since I was last there! And I’m in the UK, so it’s not like it’s far to travel! Lovely post, and brought back some good memories. 🙂

  6. The Irish government had to get permission from Guinness to use the harp as a national symbol and they flipped it to the other side. I dare you find another country with an instrument as a national symbol

  7. How incredible! You made me look up hurling and it is so amazing to hear how many distinct sports are played in the world.

  8. Interesting article. I learnt some new facts too 🙂 No.11…..would you mean its illegal to drink in public? As there is no law against being drunk in public….one must get from point A to B on a night out. No.17….. Weather has been the best the last year in Ireland! I talk to friends & family around the world & believe me its not bad. Naples & Turin have more rainfall. Your body & soul is made for a sunny country 🙂

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