15 shocking facts you probably didn’t know about Ireland!

1. Ireland ranks sixth worldwide in the average consumption of beer per person.

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Before the 1990s Ireland had a low rank in consumption, however now statistics show that the average Irish person drinks about 100 litres of beer each year!

2. Ireland has the fourth largest stadium in Europe.

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Croke Park in Ireland’s capital city Dublin, home of the Gaelic Athletic Association, has a capacity of 82,300! It has a rank of fourth in Europe just behind Camp Nou in Barcelona, Wembley in England and Olimpiysky in the Ukraine.

3. More Guinness is sold in Nigeria than in Ireland.

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Surprisingly Ireland the home of Guinness, does not sell the most Guinness in the world! Britain is first, Nigeria is Second and Ireland is third!

4. Irelands Patron Saint St. Patrick is not Irish!

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Although the location isn’t exactly known, Saint Patrick is actually from mainland Britain; he is most likely from the region we now know as Wales. He was captured by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland at age 16. He spent 6 years in captivity before returning home to his family. Saint Patrick then spent 15 years in the priesthood and returned to Ireland as a missionary after having a vision where he then was ordained a Bishop.

5.The submarine was invented in Ireland.

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John Philip Holland (29 February 1840 – 12 August 1914) was a Christian Brother from County Clare who invented the first submarine used by the US Navy and the first Royal Navy submarine– Holland 1.

6. Halloween was derived from an Irish festival called Samhain

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Samhain is a Gaelic festival which marks the end of harvest season and the start of winter where the livestock were slaughtered for winter. The souls of the dead were also thought to return to the homes of their families.

7. The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia.

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Muckanaghederdauhaulia is a small town land in county Galway which translates to “ridge, shaped like a pig’s back, between two expanses of briny water”.

8. More people speak Polish at home than Gaelic.

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There are around 82,600 speakers of Irish who use the language at home on a daily basis. Constrast this with Polish, where 119,526 speak the language at home, making it the second most spoken language on the island!

9. 10 million pints of Guinness are produced in Dublin every day!

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 10. St Valentine is buried in a Dublin church

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Many travel to Dublin every year to see the remains of St Valentine in Whitefair Street Church in Dublin!

 

11. The national symbol isn’t actually a shamrock…

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It’s a harp “The Coat of Arms”. The harp became the national Irish symbol when Ireland was separated from the UK in 1922. It is now used on coins, passports and many emblems including Guinness and Ryanair. It is also interesting to point out that the official Irish harp, found on Irish passports points the opposite direction to the harp on a Guinness glass.

12. Only 9% of the Irish population are natural redheads.

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13. The White House was created by an Irishman.

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The White House was designed by Irishman James Hoban who won a competition in 1792 which lead him to creating the building.

15. Irish traditional sports – Hurling and Gaelic Football have developed over 3000 years!

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Hurling goes back 3000 years, initially played by warriors to hone their sword wielding skills and believed to be the fastest game played on grass. Gaelic football is considered a mix between rugby and soccer; it was first ‘properly’ played in 1885 just 22 years after soccer was first played!!

15. Ireland is the third largest tea drinking nation.

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Statistics show that 1184 cups of tea on average are drank each year per person. That’s a lot of tea!