Ireland Facts

Ireland Facts
Ireland is an island west of Great Britain in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The island of Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers 5/6ths of the island and Northern Ireland which is part of the U.K and encompasses the remainder of island. Approximately 1.8 million of the island's residents live in Northern Ireland and 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland. Until approximately 9000 years ago Ireland was covered in ice. In about 5600 BC Ireland became separated from mainland Europe to form the island it is today. Man began to arrive on the island in about 8000 BC and evidence exists that settlers began to develop housing in around 4500 BC. Different cultures inhabited Ireland for centuries. Following tremendous political and civil unrest in the 1800s and 1900s, the 21st century has given way to a more peaceful and stable country.
Interesting Ireland Facts:
Ireland's capital city and largest city is Dublin. (Northern Ireland's capital city is Belfast).
Ireland's monetary unit is the Euro but prior to this it was the Irish pound, also known as the 'punt'.
Irish (Gaelic) and English are both official languages of Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day, which falls on March 17th, is a national holiday.
Ireland's most famous symbols include the Celtic cross, the harp, and the Shamrock.
The harp is Ireland's national symbol. It is the only country in the world with a musical instrument as its national symbol.
The oldest harp known to exist is located in Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and is believed to date back as far as 1300.
Ireland's longest place name is located County Galway and is called Muckanaghederdauhaulia.
In County Meath the Newgrange passage tomb has existed since it was built in 3200 BC, making it 1000 years older than Stonehenge and 600 years older than Egypt's Giza Pyramid.
Approximately 45% of Ireland's citizens attend Mass regularly, giving it one of the highest church attendance rates in the world.
Halloween originated in Ireland, from a harvest festival held on October 31st each year called Samhain. All Saints is on November 1st, and the two days merged over the years to become Halloween.
The oldest Halloween celebration in Ireland is Londonderry's Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival. This is also the largest street party held in Ireland each year.
The book Count Dracula was written in 1897 by Bram Stoker who was from Dublin, Ireland.
There are no snakes in Ireland. There are also no roe deer, weasels, or moles in Ireland.
Since the Bronze Age Ireland has had its own Olympics called the Tailteann Games.
The oldest pub in Ireland is Sean's Bar which opened approximately 900 years ago. Ireland's first bar to sell alcohol was opened in 1611 and is called Grace Neill's Bar, in Donaghadee.
Dublin Bay hosted the world's first open yacht race in 1663.
The world's oldest yacht club is the Royal Cork Yacht Club which opened in 1720.
The 'unsinkable' ship the Titanic was built in Ireland.
The famous music band U2 originated in Ireland. Pierce Brosnan, Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender are all famous celebrities born in Ireland.

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