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Ireland Fun Facts

March 13, 2016

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With St. Patrick's Day coming up, what better time could there be to learn a little bit about the country of Ireland? Let's take a look at some fun facts about this Gaelic country! 

History

  • Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic, very close to Britain. Politically, it is separated into two entities: Ireland (which is an independent country) and Northern Ireland (which is part of the United Kingdom).
  • Ireland has a tumultuous political history, as the Irish have a long history of suffering under British rule. 
  • Prior to the British claiming control over Ireland in the late 12th century, Gaelic culture predominated the island. This has continued to influence modern Irish language, art, personal identity, and culture. 
  • Celtic traditions in Ireland are part of the island's Gaelic heritage. 

Ireland and Northern Ireland are filled with amazing castles!Ireland and Northern Ireland are filled with amazing castles!Courtesy of Jim Richardson/National Geographic

Language

  • The traditional Irish language is known as Irish, or alternately as Gaelic. These days, very few people speak Irish as their first language, but many learn it as a second language. It is one of the official languages of the European Union. 
  • Irish, as a language, suffered under British rule. The British did not approve of the Irish language, as it represented something out of control of Britain. Thus, it seemed as though the language could be on the verge of being lost. 
  • By around the turn of the 21st century, the Irish language experienced a resurgence, partially as a result of increased efforts by the Irish government to promote the language. Now, over a million Irish people report speaking at least a little of the language on a daily basis. 
  • Despite the apparent growth of popularity of the Irish language, many people still view it as more of a personal identity marker rather than a really useful language to know. 

More and more Dubliners have started speaking at least a little Irish. More and more Dubliners have started speaking at least a little Irish. Courtesy of chippersfishandchips.com

Fun Facts

  • Ireland has produced some of the most celebrated writers of all time, including James Joyce and Nobel prize-winners William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney. 
  • Traditional Irish music has been popular throughout the modern age, and nowadays elements of this folk music can be found in lots of rock 'n' roll! 
  • Ireland is sometimes known as the Emerald Isle, a term coined by an Irish poet in 1795. 
  • Thinking about visiting Ireland? You might want to learn a little Irish slang! For example, "mineral" means soft drink, "messages" means groceries, and "chips" means french fries. 

The fiddle is often used in traditional Irish music. The fiddle is often used in traditional Irish music. Courtesy of crottyspubkilrush.com

Ireland is a beautiful place, full of rolling green fields and mystical elements like leprechauns and fairies. A lot of people in North America can claim Irish heritage at some point in their personal history, so it's a meaningful place for more than just the people who live there now. 

Have Your Say!

Would you ever travel to Ireland? Share your thoughts with our Kidzworld readers! 

 

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