Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Ireland - the facts... and myths!

by : 
Ciara Murray

Ireland is divided into thirty two counties, but it has two main parts: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The north, also known as Ulster, is part of the United Kingdom (so its currency is the pound) and its capital is Belfast. However, the republic (or Eire) is independent, and its capital is Dublin. Therefore, its currency is not the pound, but the euro.

Ireland is the third largest island in Europe, with a population of around 6.5 million! To the west of the island lies the Atlantic Ocean, to the south is the Celtic Sea and to the east is the Irish Sea. The Irish flag consists of three vertical stripes in green, white and orange. Green represents the Gaelic, Catholic population of Ireland, with orange representing the Protestants under William of Orange, and white symbolising peace between the two groups. The people of Ireland mainly speak English, but around 25% of the population also speaks Irish Gaelic. Although well-known sports such as soccer, golf and hockey are very popular in Ireland, the Irish also have their own sports such as hurling and Gaelic football.

Popular symbols of Ireland include the harp, the Celtic cross and the shamrock. Saint Patrick, who is the country’s patron saint, introduced the Celtic cross to Ireland, and used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – three parts of one body. Another symbol of Ireland is the leprechaun, an elf who lives in the forest. According to myth, he hides his pot of gold, and will only give it to the person who catches him!

A popular piece of jewellery in Ireland is the claddagh ring, which comes with an interesting story! Claddagh is a small fishing village in Ireland, and the legend takes place there around 500 years ago. A family of fisherman were at sea when they were captured by pirates, who took them to Africa and kept them as slaves for goldsmiths. Some of the men died there, and some accepted their fate as slaves, but the youngest man was determined to return home to a girl he had fallen in love with. Every day, he stole a little piece of gold so that he could make a ring for his love, and eventually he escaped to Ireland with it. The girl had waited for him, and he gave her his ring – the Claddagh ring. On the ring is a heart, which represents his love for her. The heart wears a crown, which symbolises his loyalty to her, and it is held by two hands which represent their friendship. The ring is now very popular in Ireland for engagements and marriages, and it is often passed down through families. If the lady wears the ring with the heart pointing out, it means she is looking for her love, but if the heart points in, she has already found him!

Ireland is a wonderful country, and if you come to visit, you will meet many friendly people who love to sing songs and dance, and they will tell you lots of stories like the legend of the claddagh ring…so what are you waiting for?!


Have you been to Ireland? Would you like to visit Ireland one day?


srdjoni's picture
srdjoni 18 April, 2018 - 19:23

Hi everyone.The UK and Ireland have huge things to boast them: landscapes, legends, cities, I could say also desserts...One complete package.
Of course, the London is the centre of tourists' tracks, tourism, but also the other parts of the country deserve to be visited by the travellers.
For example, I have found out for one city, very interesting in the UK, it's called ''Bournemouth''.Nice beach, pier, I think it's very fine city to live. :) I have known one person two years ago from this city, she's a lovely teacher and if other persons like her in this city, so this would be my town for living.:)

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Toma English's picture
Toma English 16 March, 2014 - 20:22

Unfortunately ,I've never been there :( ,, I really would like to visit it because it's amazing <3
also I want to celebrate St.Patrick's day there lol :D

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Pitaloka's picture
Pitaloka 19 August, 2013 - 04:26

I have never been in Ireland.
Have you ever seen 'The Leap Year'? That's my reason to go to Ireland especially Dublin.

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spongebob's picture
spongebob 28 June, 2013 - 13:29

i have never been in ireland but i`d really like to visit it one day
i wanna celebrate with them a special day like St Patrick`s Day
it is everything green , my favourite colour

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 18 March, 2013 - 12:26

I've been there last spring. I have danced Irish dance for seven years and I've visited this country with my dance instructor and my friends; we had a great time. Ireland is really beautiful, with a splendid nature, lovely and kind people and with lots of monuments to visit. We went there esp for entertainment, we had a public dance performance, but we also had an opportunity to see the sights there. Irish dance is very hard, it requires effort, jumping and energy, but I find it creative and unique. I really recommend it to all dance lovers.

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SARAH K's picture
SARAH K 6 July, 2013 - 19:32

Hi Natalija,
Have you ever tried to dance albanians dances? Are you planning to have a tour in Albania?

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merlin's picture
merlin 17 March, 2013 - 10:09

i haven t been never in ireland but after reading this i would like a lot to go and especially to listen some of their legends

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Sparky Cuddlekins's picture
Sparky Cuddlekins 24 February, 2013 - 10:34

Amazing!! Looks like a small mythical island. Loved your article and the legends! Never been to Ireland but I think I desperately want to go there now!

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AjkenaAlbania's picture
AjkenaAlbania 2 February, 2013 - 16:21

that's very interesting,thanks for the information Ciara Murray...I didnt now anything about this country and now I am loving it...I wolg like to visit Ireland now :)

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ona's picture
ona 17 February, 2013 - 06:35

oh thnks for the informacion ciarra murray I know things about this country but this is fantastic THANK YOU

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Irini Real Madrid's picture
Irini Real Madrid 20 January, 2013 - 06:48

i have never been to ireland
sure that i would like one day to visit ireland
it is a beautiful place

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ChristinaMne's picture
ChristinaMne 29 November, 2012 - 19:57

I really like Ireland :) I would like to visit that country one day! I would like to see all these green meadows

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Stavii16's picture
Stavii16 7 July, 2012 - 13:13

I totally LOVE this country <3
So much green :)
Maybe I could visit it in a couple of years :D

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Ciara Murray's picture
Ciara Murray 18 July, 2012 - 17:04

Hi Stavii :) you would be more than welcome to come and visit! There are lots of great monuments and sites to see :)

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