10 Surprising Facts about Ireland
Ireland has its way of surprising the world with its old and new discoveries.
The country’s exceptional food and drinks have already won our hearts, as Ireland’s welcoming hospitality continues to attract tourists. Still, Ireland always finds new ways of surprising us.
10 surprising facts about Ireland
A land of many accents! Towns in Ireland have their unique way of speaking.
There are different accents heard all across Ireland, making it a place known to have many unique ways of speaking. Within small geographical regions, you can hear the difference in the way the Irish speak.
It’s hard to believe that a country so small could have so many diverse accents. You’d never believe someone from Coolock is from the same country as someone from Cabinteely – or from the same planet as someone from Cahersiveen.
The Irish flag was inspired by the France Flag
The tricolor of green, white, and orange represents the independence of Ireland. The Gaelic tradition is represented by green, while the orange represents the followers of William of Orange, and peace between the two is represented by white in the middle.
The red, white, and blue of the French Flag inspired Thomas Francis Meagher to design the national flag of Ireland in 1848, though it was after the Easter Rising in 1916 that it was recognised and first raised above Dublin’s GPO.
Ireland’s president has very little power
The Irish word “Taoiseach” means “chief” or “leader”. It came into effect in the Constitution of Ireland in 1937, as the title to the Prime Minister or the Head of the government. The President of Ireland appoints The Taoiseach upon the nomination of Dail Eireann i.e. Ireland’s national legislature, the lower house of the Oireachtas.
Although Ireland does have an elected president, the position holds very little administrative power. The position is a head of state, akin to the monarchy in Britain.
Ireland has had two female presidents.
Mary Therese Winifred Robinson is the seventh president of Ireland. She worked in the office from December 1990 to September 1997, becoming the first woman president of Ireland. She was also a part of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights from 1997 to 2002.
She was succeeded by Mary Patricia McAleese, the eighth president of Ireland. Her office duration was from November 1997 to November 2011. Being an award-winning Catholic academic and author, she also holds a licentiate and doctorate in Canon Law.
It is illegal to be drunk in public
Even though Ireland is known for its parties, food, and drinks; it is illegal to be drunk in public. This law was passed in 2009 which clearly states that it is an offense to be intoxicated or drunk in public, if found otherwise, the person would be fined €100 or the maximum class E fine of €500.
Though, it is also a part of it that alcohol in a closed container cannot be consumed within 100m off where it was purchased.
Croke Park: The fourth-largest stadium in Europe
Croke Park stadium is open for Gaelic games in Dublin. It is named after Archbishop Thomas Croke. The GAA fans and locals sometimes also call it ‘Croker’. It is the principal national stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The stadium has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports since 1891, including the annual All-Ireland in Gaelic football and hurling finals.
Dracula is Irish (kind of)
Dublin born writer, Bram Stoker is the one who wrote Dracula. It is said to have been inspired by the Irish legend Abhartach. The 1897 horror novel introduced the character Dracula that began many conventions for vampire fantasies. The story is about how Dracula moved from Transylvania to England in the search of new blood and also to spread the undead curse. It also tells us the battle between Dracula and a small group of people who were led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
Home to the oldest pub in the world opened in 900AD.
“Sean’s Bar” is the oldest pub in the world still open today. Located in Athlone in Co. Westmeath, the pub was established around 900 AD, making it 1,121 years old. The archeological team of the National Museum of Ireland presented evidence that indicated the parts of the building where the pub was being operated at least a thousand years old. Wattle and wicker were found in the walls during the 1970s renovation. Antique coins and other materials that were discovered have been moved to the museum.
The longest coastal driving route in the world is the Wild Atlantic Way.
The 2,500 km (1,553 miles) tourism trail on the west coast and also on parts of the north and south coasts of Ireland. The drive route passes through nine counties and three provinces. There are 1000 attractions, 157 discovery points, and more than 2,500 activities to do while on the Wild Atlantic Way. This route, which was launched in 2014 by the Minister of State for tourism and sport, is world-renowned for its amazingly fresh and unique food and its endlessly breathtaking views.
So green! Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle.
The Emerald Isle is a nickname and term of endearment given to Ireland. As seen through the NASA satellite images, Ireland is covered in lush green grasses, endless trees, and if you’re lucky, shamrocks. Ireland gets its greenery from the constant rain; the country’s weather (as well as the food) makes it an exception and tourist’s favorite. The beautiful country shows off the greenery with its 6 national parks around the country.