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10 Unbelievable Things You Never Knew About Ireland
You may think that you know everything about our neighbours to the west, but in fact there are a lot of weird and wonderful facts which we’re sure you won’t be aware of. Check out this list of incredible facts about the Emerald Isle.
There are more Polish speakers than fluent Irish (Gaelic) speakers in Ireland, despite the fact that Irish is the official national language of the country.
A woodcutting called “The execution of Murcod Ballagh near Merton in Ireland in 1307" shows a guillotine-like machine almost 500 years before it was made famous by the French Revolution.
Although there is some dispute regarding spelling, it is widely accepted that Muckanaghederdauhaulia is the longest place-name in Ireland. Try entering that into your GPS.
Most of us think of Halloween as an American holiday, but in fact it’s roots come from an Irish festival called Samhain. Trick or Treat?
The oldest surviving copy of the Bible’s New Testament is kept in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.
Despite being a small country, Ireland has its own native sports which include gaelic football, hurling, camogie, gaelic handball and road bowling. Ireland was also the first country to create formalised rules for the popular kid’s game of rounders.
Ireland is the only country in the world to use a musical instrument as their national symbol: the harp.
Playboy magazine only became legally available in Ireland in 1995. That was one year before divorce was legalised in the country, although it is not believed that there was a firm connection between the two.
Funnily enough, the ancient Celtic Brehon Laws, which were operating in Ireland before the Norman Invasion in 1169, allowed for divorce. These laws are regarded as one of the most progressive laws in the world for that time, with much greater freedoms and rights for women than were found elsewhere.
There is no word for either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the Gaelic language. That means that you have to find more creative (and long-winded) ways to answer questions in the affirmative or negative.