Interesting Ireland Facts
Interesting Ireland Facts

32 Amazing Ireland Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published March 29, 2019
  • Because of its lush, rolling hills and landscape, Ireland's nickname is "The Emerald Isle."[23]
  • Saint Patrick is Ireland's patron saint, even though he actually was born in Britain.[23]
  • Ireland is the 20th largest island in the world.[5]
  • The United Kingdom governs Northern Ireland, but the rest of Ireland is an independent nation.[18]
  • Ireland ranks seventh worldwide in the average consumption of beer per person.[22]
  • Ireland Fairy Facts
    In Ireland, fairies are serious business
  • The construction of a road was delayed 10 years and ultimately re-routed to protect a tree that was supposedly occupied by fairies.[13]
  • Ireland boasts the third largest stadium in Europe. Opened in 1884, the Croke Park Stadium in Dublin can hold 82,300 people. Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, is the largest.[21]
  • Even though Ireland is the birthplace of Guinness beer, Britain is the number one consumer of the beverage, Nigeria is second, and Ireland is third. An estimated 40% of all Guinness beer is sold in Africa.[12]
  • Irish engineer John Philip Holland built the first submarine commissioned by the U.S. Navy.[11]
  • The Irish language became the official first language of the Republic of Ireland in 1937.[3]
  • Ireland is typically believed to be the birthplace of Halloween.[16]
  • The national sport of Ireland is not rugby, soccer, or even cricket. It is Gaelic football and hurling. Dating back to 3,000 years ago, hurling was initially played by warriors to practice their swordsmanship skills. Gaelic football is a mix between rugby and soccer and was first properly played in 1885.[4]
  • The longest name of a town in Ireland is Bullaunancheathrairaluinn. It translates into "Bullaun [bowl] of the Four Beauties."[7]
  • Contrary to popular belief, the national symbol of Ireland is not the shamrock; it's the harp. In the 16th century, the British Crown attempted to demoralize the Irish by ordering all Gaelic harps to be burned and all harpists to be executed.[19]
  • Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of Ireland proves it.

    - Pope John Paul II

  • Ireland is the second largest consumer of tea per person at 4.83 pounds per person annually. Turkey is first with 6.7 pounds consumed per person.[6]
  • An Irishman named James Hoban (1755–1831) designed the White House in Washington, D.C. The Leinster House in Dublin significantly influenced his design for the U.S. capital.[15]
  • In the early 1900s, the Irish used the shamrock as a symbol of rebellion against the British. Openly wearing the three-leaf clover was made illegal and was punishable by death.[3]
  • Over 40 million Americans are of Irish descent, which is seven times more than the population of Ireland itself.[9]
  • The national dance of Ireland is the Irish dance. The Irish dance has its roots in Celtic dancing, which was a form of pagan dance within a circular formation of stones.[20]
  • Ireland's national plant is the shamrock. It is typically associated with Saint Patrick, who is said to have used the three-leafed plant to teach people about the Holy Trinity.[3]
  • Shamrock etymology
    The word shamrock derives from the age-old Irish word "seamrog," meaning "summer plant"

  • In the United States, New York has the most concentrated Irish population, while Boston has the most concentrated Irish population for a city. Miami is the least Irish city in the country.[9]
  • Middleton, a small town of 12,000 people in Ireland, erected a monument to the Choctaw Nation. In spite of nearly being destroyed after walking on the Trail of Tears, the Choctaw Nation managed to send Ireland $170 ($5,000 in today’s money) during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s.[8]
  • During the catastrophic Irish Potato Famine, Ottoman Sultan Khaleefah Abdul-Majid planned to send Irish farmers £10,000. However, Queen Victoria asked that they only send £1,000 because she had only sent £2,000. He sent the £1,000, but he also secretly sent five ships full of food.[10]
  • During the Great Famine, or the Irish Potato Famine, over 1 million Irish died and nearly 2 million emigrated, dropping the population by about 25%.[1]
  • All living polar bears can trace their lineage back to a single, female brown bear from Ireland who lived between 20,000–50,000 years ago.[2]
  • Irish Famine Facts
    The potato famine was a watershed event in Irish history
  • The Great Potato Famine in Ireland was so devastating that the population still hasn't recovered.[1]
  • At the height of the Irish Potato Famine, the British government cancelled the soup kitchen aid program and discontinued financial aid from the London government.[1]
  • Before the Irish Potato Famine, nearly half of the Irish population spoke Irish. By 1900, only 15% of the population spoke it.[1]
  • During the Irish Potato Famine, Ireland continued to produce large quantities of food. But because they were considered "cash crops," they were exported for money rather than given to the starving poor.[1]
  • Established in 900 AD, Sean's Bar is the oldest bar in Ireland, perhaps in all of Europe.[17]
  • The national color of Ireland is not green; it's blue.[14]
  • In Ireland, surnames beginning with "Mac" or "O" mean "son of" and "grandson of" in Gaelic.[3]
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