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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.

‘Emerald Isle’ by William Drennan

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The only town in the world to be named St. Patrick is in Missouri, USA. The community was founded in 1833 and is named after Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

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Did You Know graphic copyright Ireland Calling
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The Scottish capital, Edinburgh is thought to be named after a 6th century Irish nun called Edana who had founded a convent in the area.

Edinburgh, showing Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the group of hills in Scotland, and is one of the earliest known sites of human habitation in the area.

Arthur's Seat , Edinburgh

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Did You Know graphic copyright Ireland Calling

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The 19th-century Smith’s Stocking Mill was located in Balbriggan, Co Dublin. This factory made stockings and men’s ‘long-Johns’ – these came to be known as ‘balbriggans’. In John Wayne movies, he often refers to them; “He put his balbriggans on’. Queen Victoria and the Czarina of Russia are also said to have worn balbriggans.

Balbriggan_beach-PD

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An old Irish belief says that people should wear something new on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday or they will not have new clothes for the following year.

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Legend has it that the trout in Lough Melvin were turned from ‘fowl to fish’ by St Patrick. When they were cooked they tasted like chicken.

Lough Melvin legend

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At St Matthew’s Church in Belfast there is a stone called the ‘Bullaun Stone’. It is said to get rid of acne, warts and spots if you rub the effected area on the stone.

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A donkey’s hooves made them a very useful animal in Ireland. The pattern in which they put down their hooves as they walked made them capable of travelling across bog land. Horses found it far more difficult to walk on such a surface.

Donkeys and cross bogland
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Did You Know graphic copyright Ireland Calling

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