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Discover Ireland: The Emerald Isle

Ireland is about more than leprechauns and lucky charms. Check out how cool the Emerald Isle really is.

The History of Ireland

The English invaded Ireland in 1171 and ruled the country for centuries. In 1845, a disease infected most of Ireland's potatoes and caused a famine that lasted four years. More than one million Irish people died from starvation and disease. Another million or so left Ireland for countries like the US and Australia. On December 6, 1921 Ireland was split into Northern Ireland, which had more Protestant peeps (like the English), and the Republic of Ireland, which was mainly Roman Catholic. Northern Ireland stayed part of the United Kingdom (Britain) and the Republic of Ireland became independent. Lots of people were mad that the north stayed with the UK, which caused a lot of fighting and even acts of terrorism.

Famous Peeps From Ireland

The band U2 hails from the land of the leprechauns. The band's first break came in 1978, when they won a talent contest on St. Patrick's Day. The latest James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, was born in Ireland but moved to England at an early age. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, AKA Liam Neeson, is from Northern Ireland. Other famous folks from the Emerald Isle include Irish boyband Westlife and Colin Farrell.

Fast Facts About Ireland

  • Mary Robinson became the first female president of Ireland in 1990.
  • Ireland has two official languages, English and Gaelic.
  • You might think four leaf clovers are the national symbol of Ireland but it's actually the harp.
  • New York is closer to Ireland than it is to LA.

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