Category: Fascinating Facts

Did you know… Robbie Burns

Burn’s night is on 25 January – it is a celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns who was born on 25 January 1759. He wrote Auld Lang Syne, which is traditionally sang at the start of each new year, but also at funerals and at the endings of other occasions. Boy Scouts…

Druid looks out

The Druid is a large wooden statue, opposite Molly Gallivan’s cottage, Bonane, Kenmare. It is carved from the remains of a pine tree, which has stood there for hundreds of years. The carving represents the first settlers in the area over 6000 years ago. The Druid looks out over the valley to the highest point…

Did You Know… Roadside Goddess

The very impressive Roadside Goddess sculpture in Co Galway. One per cent of the cost of every new road built in Ireland has to fund a piece of art, up to a total of €64,000. Each local authority decides the theme of the art on their stretch of roads. * * * Co Wicklow man…

Did You Know… Fairytale

Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty McColl is the most played song on Irish radio every year during the Christmas period. * * * The official colour of Ireland is actually blue, not green. According to Irish folklore, families can prevent an argument over Christmas by placing their shoes side by side…

Did You Know… Wolfe Tone

A statue in Bantry town centre of Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. The people of Bantry erected the statue looking out to sea... it's to be taken as symbolic of the hope for French help, rather than a literal portrayal of where Tone was at any precise moment. (Wolfe…

Did You Know… St Patrick’s burial

Legend has it that after St Patrick’s death, his followers couldn’t agree on where he should be buried. They placed Patrick’s body in a cart and harnessed the cart to two untamed oxen. They agreed to bury Patrick wherever the oxen stopped. The Oxen stopped at Dun Lethglaisse which is now the site of the…

Did You Know… George Washington

George Washington’s troops used the password ‘St Patrick’ when they forced the British out of Boston on March 17th 1776. * * * The most Catholic town in the Republic of Ireland is Buncrana, Co Donegal with 94.3% of the population Catholics. The most Protestant town is Greystones, Co Wicklow with 13.3% of the people…

Did You Know… Holly

In ancient Ireland people would put holly leaves and branches in their homes during winter. This was so the supernatural forest people would be able to come in and shelter from the cold. The custom predates Christianity although it is now a well-known Christmas tradition. * * * * * * Marxist revolutionary leader Che…

Did You Know… Oliver Plunkett

In 1975, Oliver Plunkett was canonised as a saint. He was the first Irishman in over 700 years to receive the honour. He was made a patron saint for peace and reconciliation in Ireland in 1997. There were 17 more Irish martyrs beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1992.  * * * Dracula is…

Did You Know… Emerald Isle

The first person to refer to Ireland as the ‘Emerald Isle’ was William Drennan in 1795. Drennan was a doctor and poet from Belfast. He used the phrase in his poem, When Erin First Rose. Read the whole poem, 'When Erin First Rose' here. * * * The only town in the world to be…

Did You Know… Nobel Prize

Ireland has produced four writers who have been awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature – George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats, Samuel Becket and Seamus Heaney. * * * The citizens of Ireland are outnumbered by the tourists. The country has a population of 3.8 million while over 5 million tourists visit every year. In…

Did you know… Glastonbury Abbey

According to legend, St Patrick may have been buried in England rather than Ireland. It is said that he may have moved to Glastonbury towards the end of his life and been buried there. The Chapel of St Patrick is part of Glastonbury Abbey. * * * Ireland became officially known as the Republic of…

Did you know… O’Connell Bridge

O’Connell Bridge in Dublin used to be made of rope and was only able to hold one person at a time. In 1801 it was replaced with a wooden bridge. In 1863, it was rebuilt again, this time using concrete. It was originally known as ‘Carlisle Bridge’. * * * * * * The youngest…

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