A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, ARCHAEOLOGY, & ART
ARCHAEOLOGY is of great interest in Ireland and the country has many Archaeological sites. The Ceide Fields are a Neolithic landscape dating back to 5000 B.C. and the oldest known field systems in the world. Newgrange, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, was built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC.
Ireland many art museums & galleries. The Arts Council of the Republic of Ireland promotes interest, knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts. The Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin has exhibitions, collections and special programs.
There are over 400 species of BIRDS in Ireland. It also has one of the largest seabird colonies in the country. Ospreys nest in the area of Southern Ireland called Eagle Rock. Over 250 bird species have been recorded on the Wexford Wildlife Reserve. About half the world population of Greenland white-fronted geese spend the winter there. During autumn, many migrating seabirds can be seen off the coasts including several species of skuas, and petrels. Some birds are endangered. The National Bird of Prey Center in Blessington, County Wicklow has educational tours and an interactive flying display with birds of prey.
Ireland has many BRIDGES including pedestrian bridges and railroad bridges. The River Suir Bridge is the longest bridge in the country. The Anna Livia Bridge was built in the 1660s and is the oldest bridge in Ireland. The Rosie Hackett Bridgein Dublin opened in 2014 and is intended solely for use by public transport, taxis, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Ireland has many CASTLES ranging from stone tower houses to fortified manor homes. Castles have been a part of Ireland since 1170 and were built primarily for defensive purposes. Many are open to the public. Blarney Castle is one of the most famous castles in there. A legend says that if you "kiss the Blarney Stone" you get the gift of eloquent persuasion. Bunratty Castle was constructed in 1425 and is open to the public. Trim Castle was built in the 12th century and is the largest Norman castle constructed in Ireland. Parkes Castle is open from late March to late September. There are several Castle Hotels.
Ireland has many forms of COMMUNICATION including radio, television, telephone (Code 353), and internet (code ie).. The country has several Internet Service Providers and Webcams are located throughout the country. Many newspapers and magazines are published. Technology in Ireland has seen unparalleled growth and is second in the world in the export of computer software.
The history of CURRENCY in Ireland reflects development over the last 1000 years. The first Irish pound was introduced in 997 and was equivalent to the British Pound. In 1801, Ireland was fully united with Great Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The last Irish copper pennies and halfpennies were minted in 1823. A distinct Irish pound existed until January 1826, when it was replaced by the British Pound. A new Irish Pound was introduced in 1928, although monetary union with British Pound Sterling was maintained. The currencies stayed roughly pegged, even after Ireland was declared a sovereign state in 1937, until the 1970s when Ireland joined the European Monetary System and Britain did not. In the 1960s, Ireland decimalized its coins along with Great Britain. The coins for the two currencies stayed the same size and denominations until 1986, when Ireland introduced new coins completely different in size, shape and composition. The Irish pound was superseded by the Euro in 1999 and it became the only legal currency in Ireland in 2002.
Evidence of DINOSARUShas been found in Ireland. Fossilized footprints have been found on Valentia Island that date back 385 million years ago. Dublin Zoo has a dinosaur exhibit. Tayto Park has life size animatronic dinosaurs.
Several DOGS are native to Ireland. The Irish Water Spaniel has been known since the 1100s. The Irish Wolfhound is one of the largest dogs in the world. The country has Irish Terriers, and Kerry Blue Terriers.
EDUCATION in Ireland is free and the law requires children from ages 6 to 15 to attend school. The government funds schools but nearly all of them are operated by religious organizations. There are also private schools and HomeSchooling is popular.
The FLAG of Ireland is a tricolor of green, white and orange, first flown in 1848. The colors stand for Irish Catholicism, Irish Protestantism, and peace between the two. It is the normal practice to fly the national flag daily at all military posts and from a limited number of important State buildings. The European flag is flown alongside the national flag on all official buildings and in most places where the Irish flag is flown over buildings. The Coat of Arms of Ireland are a Celtic harp on an azure field. Each Province is represented by its own unique arms and flag.
The FOOD Timeline of Ireland dates back thousands of years. Milk, cheese, meat, cereals and some vegetables formed the main part of the Irish diet from prehistoric times up until the introduction of the potato. Ireland has a wide variety of FOOD. Food historians generally agree that Colcannon belongs to the Irish. Cabbage is the most popular green vegetable and potato is a basic part of the diet. Lamb or mutton is more popular than beef. The Irish drink more tea than any other European people. The country has many Food Festivals including several Oyster Festivals. The Food Safety Authority monitors the safety of food. World Food Day is celebrated. May 26 is National Fish and Chips Day.
Ireland has many FORTS and can be of earth or stone stone depending on the region. Some of the forts are historical. Forts have been traditionally divided into 3 classes: Ring forts with a circular space surrounded by a bank, Hill forts with walls or banks that enclose the summit, and Promontory forts that were either cliff-top by the sea or on a steep mountain spur. Dún Aonghasa is the most famous of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands of County Galway. Saigue Stone Fort is a partly ruined stone ring fort in County Kerry thought to have been built during the late Iron Age. Rock of Cashel was a fortress in the 4th century.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Ireland is approximately 53 degrees north latitude and 8 degrees west longitude. The country is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, Saint George's Channel to the south-east, and the Irish Sea to the east. The highest point is Carrantuohill and North Slob is the lowest point. Lowlands cover most of the center of Ireland, mountains rise near the coast, and inlets and bays cut deeply into the west coast. Geocaching is an adventure game using a Global Positioning System and Ireland has many geocaches.
The HISTORY of Ireland dates back thousands of years. While much of Europe was going through the period called the Dark Ages, learning was being preserved in Ireland. Monasteries were the center of community, social, and religious lie. The first recorded Viking raid in Irish history occurred in 795.
Horse racing is very popular in Ireland. The most famous horse races in the country are the Irish Derby. There are also many horse shows The Dublin Horse Show is a major event. The Steeplechase originated in Ireland, and Connemera ponies are native to the country. The Irish Draught Horse is considered endangered.
Ireland has an estimated 12,000 species of INSECTS. There a many species of dragonflies and 9 are found hovering over bogs. There are several species of butterflies in the country, and 2 rare forms are associated with bogs. There are 2 Butterfly Farms.
Ireland is an ISLAND lying west of the island of Great Britain and northwest of mainland Europe. It is surrounded by many Islands. The most famous islands are the Aran Islands. The Blasket Islands are made up of 6 principal islands. Achill Island is the largest island. It is attached to the mainland by Michael Davitt Bridge. Lettermullan is the smallest island. Clare Island is best known as the home of a pirate.
The JUDICIARY of Ireland consist of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Circuit Court, and the District Court.. The structure of the government is regulated fundamentally by the Constitution of Ireland.The head of government is the Prime Minister.
The Book of KELLS is kept in the Library Colonnade of Trinity College in Dublin. It is an illuminated manuscript dating from around 800 A.D. and is one of the oldest books in the world. The town of Kells is asking for it back and has built a visitors center that shows the monastic life of Kells.
Many aspects of life in Ireland focus on KIDS, and there are many special attractions for kids. The National Museum of Ireland has fun events for kids. The Kool Kids of Ireland is a resource about the country. The Sugradh promotes the rights of kids to play. Kids Helping Kids offers kids in Ireland the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other kids.
English is the official LANGUAGE of Ireland and is spoken with a soft accent called a brogue. Irish or Gaelic is the native language. The country has declared itself to be bilingual and many documents and road signs are in both languages. Irish schools teach both Gaelic and English.
LIBRARIES are located throughout Ireland. The National Library was established in 1877 in Dublin and is a research library not a lending library. The library collection is a record of the history and culture of Ireland. Famous authors include Jonathan Swift, and C. S. Lewis. Oxford University has a variety of libraries. Cambridge University Library has one of the greatest collections of books and manuscripts in the world. Ireland has many myths and legends. Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature.
Ireland has many LIGHTHOUSES. The oldest lighthouse is Hook Head built in 1172 and is still in use. There is a lighthouse at Skellig Michael. The country also has many other types of navigational lights and buoys.
MUSEUMS are located throughout Ireland. The National Museum of Ireland emphasizes art, culture, and natural history of Ireland. The Museum of Kerry has prehistoric and Celtic displays. The Folk Villlage Museum is a cluster of several small cottages built and maintained by the local people and one of the best living-history museums in Ireland..
Irish MUSIC is popular throughout the world. Many traditional musical instruments are used, and the Irish Coat of Arms pictures a harp which dates back to the time of the celtics. Irish harpers told stories in song and were known throughout Europe as early as the 12th century. The Folk Music Society of Ireland features traditional music, song, and dance. Popular dances include the Irish jig reels, hornpipes, sets, polka, and step dances. There are dance competitions throughout the country. River Dance is performed worldwide. There are many variations of traditional Irish music. The Irish national anthem is Amhrán na bhFiann, originally composed in English as "The Soldiers' Song". Over 100 groups or solo artists have recorded the song Danny Boy.
The Atlantic OCEAN is west, northwest, and southwest of Ireland. The North Channel is to the northeast. The Irish Sea and St. George's Channel are to the east and separate the country from Great Britain. The Celtic Sea is south of Ireland. Many shipwrecks have occurred off the coasts of Ireland.
Ireland belongs to many International ORGANIZATIONS. including the World Trade Organization, and the European Union. Ireland has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and plays an active roll in UN activities.
Ireland has a POPULATION of over 6 million people. Most people live in cities and towns. Many Irish people trace their ancestry to people who arrived in Ireland during the past 7,000 years including Celts, Vikings, Normans, and British. County Derry is the longest inhabited place in Ireland. About 10,000 gypsies live in Ireland and are known as the Irish Travelers. Ireland has had many rulers including kings, presidents, and attorney generals.
Ireland has many PORTS. The Waterford Port is the cargo gateway to the South East Region of Ireland. Click HERE to watch a webcam of the port. The Port of Cork is a natural harbor and the major seaport of Southern Ireland. Approximately two-thirds of the port traffic in Ireland goes through Dublin Port. The port of Cobh was the last port of call of the Titanic. Ireland has several cruise ports.
Ireland was officially declared the REPUBLIC OF IRELAND in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. It is a sovereign state in north-western Europe occupying 26 counties of the island of Ireland. The state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. By tradition, Ireland is divided into 4 provinces. The government is based on the Irish Constitution with a president, Prime Minister, and parliament.
The RIVERS in Ireland have been used since ancient times as a means of transport, a source of food, even boundaries between kingdoms, some of which are still in force today. The longest river is the River Shannon. The river develops into three lakes along its course - 1. Lough Allen, 2. Lough Ree, and 3. Lough Derg.The River Clyde is the shortest river. Rivers flow into the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. There are myths and legends about the rivers in Ireland.
The SHAMROCK is a 3-leafed plant of the clover family and is the National Emblem of Ireland. According to tradition, St. Patrick used the shamrock to talk about the Holy Trinity, the 3-part concept of the Christian faith.
Ireland has many SPORTS. The main sport on a national level is the national indigenous GAA games of Hurling and Gaelic football. Other sports include Gaelic games, soccer, and rugby. Golf has a rich and colorful history in Ireland. The Irish coastline is dotted with challenging links and Inland are some of the finest parkland courses in Europe. Croke Park is a GAA stadium located in Dublin and serves both as the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Ireland has a variety of Water sports.
TRANSPORTATION in Ireland includes automobile, bus, Rail Services, and 4 International and 6 Regional Airports. Driving is on the left side. Bicycles are often used. Irish Rail runs trains that go out into the countryside.
Ireland has many varieties of TREES including several native trees. There are some unique trees. The Tree Council of Ireland is a voluntary non-governmental organisation formed in 1985 to promote the planting, care and conservation of trees in both urban and rural areas. It sponsors National Tree Week. Since ancient times certain trees have been regarded as sacred in Ireland including the mountain ash and holly. Most important was the oak. Gnarled branches of the hawthorn are called shillelaghs. Areas of natural woodlands around Killarney include the Strawberry Tree.
The WEATHER in Ireland is influenced by the North Atlantic Drift Current. In winter winds blow the current and bring warmth to the country. In summer, westerly winds blowing across the water help keep temperatures mild. The greatest annual precipitation is in the southwest. It is defined as having a temperate oceanic climate.
Ireland has a variety of WILDLIFE and foxes and badgers are the most common. Several species of animals are native to the country. Fota Wildlife Park has animals in a natural setting. The Connemara Pony is the only pony native to Ireland. The Irish Seal Sanctuary is a professionally run Wildlife Hospital, Rescue and Rehabilitation Facility in Ireland.
Ireland has nearly a hundred Youth Hostels that provide inexpensive accommodations for individuals, families and groups. There are many Youth Hostels in Dublin. Ireland also has Elderhostels now called Road Scholars.
Nil aon tintean mar do thintean fein.
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