While The Slaney Language Centre remains closed due to the pandemic, I have decided to use the time to write a few blog posts about Ireland, Wexford and of course about The Slaney Language Centre, our language school in Ireland.
I have done some research and am starting off today with some interesting facts about Ireland.
Do you love Ireland?
How many of these facts were you aware of?
- There are more Irish people living abroad than in Ireland. 80 million Irish people live outside of Ireland and only around 6 million in Ireland.
During the 1840s the potato, Ireland staple crop failed, leading to the Great Famine. An estimated million people died of starvation and disease between 1846 and 1851 and two million emigrated between 1845 and 1855. The population was reduced to about 25%.
- St Patrick was born in Wales, not in Ireland. His real name was not Patrick but Maewyn Succat. There were never snakes in Ireland, even before Saint Patrick.
- Ireland, the home of Guinness, does not sell the most Guinness in the word. Britain is first, Nigeria second and Ireland only third.
It takes 119.5 seconds to pour a perfect Guinness. Try it out!
- The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia.Try pronouncing it after you have had a few pints of Guinness.
- The burial tomb Newgrange is 5’000 years old, making it older than the ancient pyramid of Giza and Stonehenge. During the winter solstice, light penetrates through the burial tomb for about 19 minutes.
- The traditional Irish sport of hurling is over 3’000 years old. The GAA (hurling and Irish football) Stadium in Dublin is called Croke Park and is the fourth biggest stadium in Europe.
- The White House in America was designed by James Hoban, an Irish man who won a competition in 1792.
- Bram Stoker, who wrote ‘Dracula’, is from Dublin. Dracula is said to have been inspired by the Irish legend of Abharthach.
- Ireland is home to the oldest pub in Europe. Sean’s Bar in Athlone opened in 900AD.
- The harp is the national symbol of Ireland and not the shamrock. Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument as the national symbol.
- Ireland has one of the youngest populations in the world because of its high birth-rate. Approximately 50% of the population is less than 28 years of age.
- Irish surnames that start with ‘Mac’ mean ‘son of…’
- The Irish invented Halloween. It was derived from an Irish festival called Samhain.
- The Titanic was built in Belfast.
- A motorway in Ireland was delayed by ten years and then rerouted to protect a tree, that was thought to belong to fairies.
- Google, Microsoft, Facebook, PayPal, Twitter, Intel, Apple, and many other large corporate US companies have their European Headquarters in Ireland.
- In 2002 Ireland was one of the first 12 European Union nations that began using the Euro currency.
In 2004 Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce a countrywide ban on smoking in the workplace and pubs/restaurants.
Since 2009 it is illegal to be drunk in public in Ireland.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Ireland since 2015.
Abortion has been legal in Ireland since 2018.
- Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of how green it is.
- Irish Wolfshounds are the tallest dog breed in the world.
- Turning 100 in Ireland? On your 100th birthday, you receive a letter and €2540 from the President as part of the Centenarian Bounty. On each subsequent birthday you receive a letter and a commemorative coin.
Hope you enjoyed reading the newsletter.
Take good care of yourselves, we will catch up soon,
Lisa Bartsch, Managing Director The Slaney Language Centre