(Éire, Airlann, the Emerald Isle,
the Island of Saints and Scholars)
- Location: United Kindgom
- Capital: Dublin
- Language(s): English, Irish
- Population: 6.2 Million
- Total Area: 27,135 km2
- Currency: Euro
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption: 14.41
- The Most Popular Drink: Guiness
Ireland, the third largest island in Europe, is without a doubt the country of good craic- an Irish saying that means sharing a good time and a few drinks with friends. The good times have increased significantly since their dramatic change into one of Europe’s richest nations. Life hasn’t always been so good for the Irish. In the last three hundred years, the country has suffered two awful famines whilst having to cope with being a Great British colony. The good craic didn’t start flowing until their independence from Britain in1922.
The Irish remain fiercely proud of their heritage. 10% of the population still speaks Irish as their first language and even those who speak English do with a certain Irish charm. Everyone knows the phrase top of the morning to ya, but others saying roll off their tongues just as freely: What’s the craic? Whataboutche? Being just a few more. However, while the Irish are a fun bunch, they do have a more serious to their culture. 94% of the population are Roman Catholic and some areas as strictly Catholic as anywhere in Europe. For a long time The Catholic Church’s influence, meant pubs closed very early compared to other European countries. They have relaxed the hours since then, but they still seem an unfair restriction on a people who love nothing more than a good time.
Of all the things the Irish Diaspora has brought the world the Irish pub is the most popular. In Ireland there are so many that the people claim there is one pub for every twenty people. And what a unique experience each one is. The first thing you notice is that there is always a group of regulars at the bar. They usually know each other like family and if one gets too drunk they rarely frown on it, but presume he or she are either having hard time or just need to let off some steam. If you want the full Irish pub experience, you will have to stay until the end when you are mostly likely to experience a late sing song- every Irish person seems to know at least ten Irish folk songs.
For such a small country, Ireland has produced one of the world’s most influential writers. At the forefront is James Joyce known as the father of modern novels. Not far behind are Samuel, Beckett, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde. From Gulliver’s Travels to Dracula, they have all left an indelible mark on popular culture. The most famous of today’s writers is Patrick MacCabe. Two of his books have been adapted into films by the Irish director Neil Jordan- the award winning Butcher Boy and the Breakfast of Champions.
The Irish, more than any other European country, do everything differently, and particularly when it comes to sport. Yes, they have a good national soccer, but all their good players- Robbie Keane and Damien Duff among others - play in the English Premiership and their own soccer league is one of the weakest in Europe. Their two biggest spectator sports are hurling and Gaelic Football, both traditionally Irish sports and both, even in these times, strictly amateur. One competition in Gaelic football draws international attention- the International Rules games against Australia who play a similar game called Australian Rules football. Rugby is also a popular game. Ireland competes in an annual competition called the six nations with France, England, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
- Ireland is the third largest island in Europe.
- Ireland is the twentieth-largest of all islands on earth.
- There are three world heritage sites in Ireland.
- The Blarney Castle is one of the most important tourist attractions on the island.
- Dublin, Ireland is the home of Guinness.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2012 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Simon Arms (Berlin, Germany)
Daniel Krasnopolsky (Woodmere, NY, USA)