Love Ireland? Grab that horseshoe, because you’re in luck! Today, we’ve put together ten super interesting facts about the Emerald Isles that you may not have known about…
Dublin is pretty popular
If you want to move to Ireland to get involved with the locals, its capital is the place to be. Not only is it home to the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle and Phoenix Park, but it’s also home to almost 1.4 million people – an impressive 27% of the country’s population.
Ireland is a professional Eurovision Song Contest winner
Yep, you heard that right. Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest a record-breaking seven times, with three consecutive wins to boot. Dana won with “All Kinds of Everything” in 1970, Johnny Logan with “What’s Another Year?” in 1980 and again with “Hold Me Now” in 1987, followed by hits from Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan, and Eimear Quinn. The country has yet to win this side of the 21st century.
Tech firms love Ireland
Some of the world’s biggest technology firms, including Google, Apple, and Facebook, have set up their European headquarters in Ireland. As such, it’s one of the biggest exporters of hardware and software in the world, raking in tens of billions of dollars across Europe.
Ireland switched to the Euro
Back in 1999, Ireland was one of the first twelve countries in the European Union to switch to the Euro currency, though it did not begin circulation until 2002. Before then, the country used the Irish pound, and Irish coins and banknotes had to be redeemed into euros (by bank transfer only) at the Central Bank of Ireland in Dublin. It took many years to properly happen.
Saint Patrick’s Day is an official holiday
Ever wondered why pubs and e-commerce stores made a big fuss of Saint Patrick’s Day, even though you know little about it? Well, that’s because, in Ireland, the day is an official national holiday; in fact, the holiday is celebrated in more countries than any other festival.
Ireland is progressive on global warming
Did you know that Ireland kickstarted the plastic bag revolution? Back in 2002, it was the first country in the world to tax single-use shopping bags; 2 years later, it banned public smoking.
Shamrock is the national symbol
The country’s national symbol is a shamrock, a type of clover, along with a harp. You’ll find the symbols used as trademarks on the country’s popular airlines, Aer Lingus and Ryanair.
Christianity is prominent
The most predominant religion in the Republic of Ireland is Christianity, with many locals and expats getting tattoos and wearing symbols like Celtic cross Jewelry to express their faith.
However, the Constitution of Ireland says that the country does not endorse any particular religion and that anyone is welcome to come to the country and express themselves freely.
Boxing is big in the country
There are many popular sports in Ireland, including footfall, Gaelic games such as hurling, horse racing, showjumping, hockey, golf, rowing, cricket, and rugby, but the sport the country has had the most success with during the Olympics is boxing. In fact, the government awards boxing firms more than €1 million per year as part of its Capital Sports Programme.
Guinness comes from Ireland
Okay, the chances are that you already knew that one. But here it is just in case! One of the world’s most famous beers, Guinness, comes from Ireland. It was first brewed by the legend that is Arthur Guinness in Dublin, and now the firm makes €2 billion worth of beer annually.
Which of these Ireland facts was most interesting to you? Do you have any others we should add to this list? Let us know and check back soon for more awesome content from the team.