From the lush landscapes and coastal cliffs that take your breath away, to the innumerable pubs where you can hear tales from the country’s rich history, there’s something for everybody in Ireland. Beyond the tangible aspects of Ireland are the celebrated characteristics that can only be encountered when you are fortunate enough to meet the famously welcoming and pleasant citizens of this popular land.
The island of Ireland is divided into two parts: The Republic of Ireland, or Eire, and Northern Ireland. As the name suggests, Eire is an independent republic. Northern Ireland, however, is a province governed by United Kingdom. The population of Eire (Ireland) is approximately 3.9 million people, 95% of whom are Catholics. The population of Northern Ireland is 1.5 million people, 60% of whom are Protestants and 40% of whom are Catholics.
English is the main language of Ireland. In areas of western and southern Ireland, known as the Gaeltacht, Irish is the native language— they include parts of Kerry, Galway, Mayo, the Aran Islands and Donegal. Irish is one of the oldest written languages in Europe with a strong and rich literary tradition. Irish, as spoken today, is the continuation of a linguistic tradition that stretches back to at least the 9th century. Despite more than 400 years of British partial occupation and another 400 years of domination, the language survived and experienced a resurgence at the end of the 19th century, which still continues today. Oral tradition has played an extremely important role in the survival of Irish as a living language.
By combining two of Ireland's most popular vegetables, potatoes and cabbage, you’ll have one of Ireland’s most renowned comfort foods, colcannon. The tradition behind the making of this popular dish sends a young girl out to the cabbage patch to blindly select the one to be used for dinner. The vegetable root is examined upon selection and is used to predict the characteristics of the young girl’s future husband.
Irish teenagers enjoy sports, live music venues, the cinema, local student restaurants, cafes and local discos. In particular, listening to music and dancing in the evening is very popular. However, on school nights, most young people might go to a friend’s house for dinner or play a game of football in the evening. After school, sport activities are extremely well-liked, with Gaelic games, soccer, rugby and other athletics offered by most schools.
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- In the year 988, the Vikings settled in their new city, Duhb Linn which translates to, Black Pool.
- Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle for its lush greenery.
- Popular Irish beer, Guinness, has a 9,000 year lease on its original brewery at St. James Gate.
- Until 1995, the Irish constitution made divorce illegal.