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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.

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Did You Know graphic copyright Ireland Calling

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Marxist revolutionary leader Che Guevara has Irish ancestry. He is descended from Ana Lynch y Oritz who left Galway for Argentina in the 18th century.



On 10 May 1785, Tullamore had the world’s first known aviation disaster when a hot air balloon crashed and caused a fire that destroyed 130 homes.

The town shield has a phoenix rising from the ashes. Tullamore holds the Phoenix Festival each year (which began in 2000) which commemorates this accident. Events include hot air balloons, sky diving, concerts, street entertainers, fire parade and fireworks.

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To prevent bad luck to you and your family follow this advice from an old Irish superstition.

Irish superstition* * *

The West-Link Bridge lanes in Dublin are the busiest in Europe. Each lane is used by 20,700 vehicles every day. This is nearly double the amount of vehicles that use each lane of the George Washington Bridge in New York.


Enya is Ireland’s most successful solo artist. She has won several awards and sold over 75 million albums worldwide. The only Irish musicians to sell more albums than Enya are U2.

More about Enya here

Eithne Ní Bhraonáin is anglicised to Enya Brennan

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Mosse founded the Totunda Hopital DublinThe Rotunda in Dublin is Europe’s oldest maternity hospital, founded in 1745.

It was originally known as the Dublin Lying-In Hospital.

Bartholomew Mosse, who was a surgeon and midwife, founded the hospital to improve conditions for pregnant women which were appalling by today’s standards.

Did You Know graphic copyright Ireland Calling

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Dublin buses get their numbers starting in the city centre and moving outwards in a clockwise direction from south to north.. It is the same system used back in the days of horse drawn trams.

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old Irish suprstition In medieval Ireland

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St Patrick is said to be the first person in history to speak out against slavery. The Irish stopped slave trading around the time of Patrick’s death in AD 460 and never started again.


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