Tweety leprechaun with cauldron in Ireland



The beautiful landscapes of Ireland are comprised of hills, plains with lakes and rocky coastlines. Livestock, mostly sheep, is one of the country's main ressouces.
A bit of history : evangelized during the 5th century by St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, the island fell under British rule in the 12th century. Anglican reform led by Henry VIII in the 16th century caused riots among Irish who remained strongly Catholics. The country was depopulated in 1848 after a great famine that drove many people to immigrate to the United States. The independence of Eire, South Ireland, was obtained in 1921. Ulster, Northern Ireland, remains under British rule. The Eire was called the "Celtic Tiger" in the 90s because of its booming economy, but it has experienced serious financial difficulties in 2010...
However hotels are expensive in Ireland and it may be wiser to prefer guest houses.

General information about "the emerald isle"

Motto : "Ireland forever"
Anthem : the soldier's song (Amhran na bhFiann)

(source : http://www.flaggen-server.de/​main/main.php)

Symbol : the shamrock

Symbol : the shamrock

The clover, also called Shamrock, was used by Saint Patrick, the evangelistic Saint of Ireland in the 5th century, to explain the Holy Trinity : the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Note : the harp is the symbol of the republic of Ireland.

Symbol : the harp

The Ireland is the only country in the world to have chosen a musical instrument as emblem. The Brian Boru's harp is derived from the illuminated book of Kells which on display in Trinity college in Dublin.

Flag :

Irish flag

The Irish three-coloured flag appeared for the first time among the Irish Nationalists in 1848. But it's only in 1937 (after the 1922 independence) that it became the official flag of the republic of Ireland.
It's comprised of green that represents the Catholic majority, white that represents peace and orange that represents the Protestant minority. Therefore it symbolizes the uniqueness of the country beyond religious barrier.

Capital : Dublin
"dear, dirty Dublin"
Symbolic monument : Ha'Penny bridge
Note : the Spire (built in 2003) could take this role soon.
Population : 4.1 millions inhabitants (2007)
(500,000 in Dublin)
Area : 27,136 sq.mi (70,283 km2)
Currency : Euro
Religion : Catholic
Political system : Republic
Official language : English and Gaelic
Difference of time : UTC
(same as United Kingdom)
Architectural styles :
  • Georgian houses
  • Thatched or slate roof houses
  • Celtic crosses
  • Round towers of the monasteries
Folklores and traditions :
  • Irish taps and dances (solo :jig, reel, hornpipe; to 2 from 16 (also solo) : step dancing; another in group : ceilis...). The Irish traditional dance festivals are fleadhs (there are other spellings).
  • Irish traditional musics (dance music : jig, reel, hornpipe; sean-nos, slow airs, laments...)
  • Celtic tales and legends (Leprechauns...)
  • Halloween on 31 october (as well as in United Kingdom)
Culinary specialities :
  • Irish breakfast (sausages, bacon, tomatoes, eggs...)
  • Irish stew (lamb or sheep stew with potatoes)
  • Fish & chips (as well as in United Kingdom)
Drink :
  • Beer (Guiness...)
  • Irish whiskey (spelled "ey" instead of "y")
  • Irish coffee (coffee + fresh cream + whiskey)
Miscellaneous :
  • Driving is on the left.
  • Plugs and sockets are different.