Ireland: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Ireland.

  • Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland, is an island country and part of the British Isles. It is in the North Atlantic, separated from the United Kingdom by the Irish Sea.
  • About 15 percent of the island is occupied by Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland has a population of about 4.8 million.

  • Ireland is often known as the Emerald Isle, because of its green countryside. The country’s symbol is a Celtic harp, which also appears on its most famous drink, Guinness.
  • Dublin is the capital and largest city, with a population of about 1.1 million people. It is known for its Georgian buildings, literary associations and cultural venues.
  • Dublin has more open space per square km than any other European capital. Phoenix Park has been home to deer since the 17th century and is one of Europe’s largest walled city parks.
  • During Easter, 1916, many Irish rebelled against British rule in the country, in what was called the Easter Rising. Ireland’s main railway stations are named after the leaders of the rebellion.
  • St. Brendan the Navigator is one of the most important Irish saints. Some historians claim that he sailed to America in a small boat some 1,000 years before Christopher Columbus.
  • Another saint, St. Patrick, introduced Latin and the alphabet into Ireland. He is said to have banished all the snakes from the country, and is supposedly buried in Down Cathedral.

Flag of Ireland

  • During the potato famine in Ireland in the 1840s and 50s, about a million Irish emigrated, mostly to America. Some claim that almost half the US presidents have had Irish ancestry.
  • The Irish are known for their wit and for being talkative. Kissing the Blarney Stone which is set into the wall at Blarney Castle is said to give people the ‘gift of the gab’.