Ireland is a country that means a lot to people all around the world. Millions are descendants of Irish people who were forced to leave their homeland in the mid-19th century.
So it is no surprise that people want to find out about more about the country of their ancestors to feel a bit closer to home.
In the modern day, there is only one place most of us turn to for information – the internet. And the king of the search engine Google.
So what do people ask Google about Ireland? Here is a list of the most popular searches. For those of you that don’t want to sit there searching each one, we have provided a brief answer to the questions of our own.
…have a soccer team?
Yes it does. In fact, it has two. Unlike in rugby, where players from Northern Ireland and the Republic play together for an All-Ireland side, in soccer (or football) the Republic has its own side, and Northern Ireland has its own side.
The Republic are managed by Northern Irish football legend Martin O’Neill. They qualified for the 2016 European Championships after an impressive campaign that included a 1-0 win over world champions Germany. Robbie Keane is the country’s all-time top goalscorer and one of their best ever players.
Northern Ireland are managed by Ulsterman Michael O’Neill. They also qualified for the European Championships in 2016 after topping their group – a remarkable achievement for a nation with such a small population.
Yes, but not the same as postcodes in the UK or Zip codes in America. Most homes outside Dublin don’t have postcodes as part of their address. However, a complex system of codes ranging from one to eight digits long does exist to specify a location in the country. These codes can refer to an entire region or a single telephone pole, and everything in between.
Yes and no. The Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK and switched to the Euro in 2002. Prior to that it had its own currency of Irish pounds. Northern Ireland uses British pounds sterling as it is part of the UK. However, some retailers near both sides of the border will accept either currency.
…have a World Cup team?
Neither the Republic of Ireland nor Northern Ireland qualified to play at the 2014 World Cup. The Republic last qualified in 2002, and Northern Ireland in 1986. That’s if the question refers to the football World Cup. Ireland’s rugby team selects players from both the North and South and regularly gets to the knockout stages of the World Cup.
…have a President?
It does, although the President of Ireland is more of a figure head than a position of real power. The President is the country’s official Head of State and is elected by the public. Douglas Hyde, the founder of the Gaelic League, was the first person to hold the position when he was elected in 1938.
…have any mosquitoes?
It does. Obviously not as many as countries in hotter climates, but you will almost certainly come home with a few itchy bites if you spend a warm summer’s day fishing by a lake.
Yes. English is the official language in Ireland. Ever since the Cromwellian invasion of the 17th century. There are still some rural communities that still speak Irish as their first language, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Ireland’s first president, Douglas Hyde fought his whole life to preserve the Irish language and cultures, and stop the anglicisation of the country.
…have a king?
No. Ireland has no royal family. For centuries it was ruled by Britain and the English monarchy. Henry VIII once declared himself King of Ireland. You have to go back to medieval times to find the last High King of Ireland. As native Irish clans fought for supremacy, numerous people claimed the title of High King of Ireland. Brian Boru of the 11th century is widely regarded as being Ireland’s first king.
…ever get any snow?
It certainly does. The winters in Ireland can be icy cold and a whole year without a single drop of snow would be considered a rarity. However, because of Ireland’s location being just cut adrift from mainland Europe and the first point of contact for any Atlantic storms, its weather can be as unpredictable as anywhere. Snow is always a possibility, sometimes even in spring.
Do you qualify to become an Irish citizen?There are three main ways for a person to qualify for Irish citizenship – through birth, through marriage or civil partnership or through naturalisation. Check if you qualify for Irish citizenship
Did you know?Fans of Game of Thrones can soon visit some of the key filming locations in Northern Ireland, in a move that will provide a huge tourism boost for the area. Find out more.
Have you heard about…A two-minute film from showcases Irish dancing in all its glory. It sees Cork trio Kieran Hardiman, Alan Kenefick and Ciaran Plummer performing their perfectly choreographed routine around the grounds of University College Cork. Find out more.
What about this…Female Irish warrior Grainne Ni Mhaile, or Grace O’Malley is one of the most colourful characters in Irish history. Born around 1530, she was a Pirate Queen and became a constant thorn in the side of British Queen Elizabeth I. Find out more.