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Ireland to be ‘best small country in the world by 2016’

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The Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has pledged to make Ireland the best small country in the world by 2016.

Enda Kenny Irish Fine Gael politician and Taoiseach
Enda Kenny

Mr Kenny was speaking at the Fine Gael Ardfheis (annual party conference) when he addressed Ireland’s recent economic crisis and outlined his plans for the future.

He said: “We will not celebrate until Ireland has reason to celebrate. Tonight, unemployment remains too high. Too many families are struggling to make ends meet. Too many worry about losing their homes. Too many of our children are still moving away.

Irish is only the third most used language in Ireland

Irish has dropped down to third in the list of the languages most spoken in Ireland, according to the 2011 Census.

Dinny McGinney, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Dinny McGinney

The census showed that English is the most used language and Polish is now the second most used.

There are 119,526 people who speak Polish as their first language, and 56,430 who speak French.

Will Ferrell insists he’s Irish – and he’ll drive on the left!

Comedy actor Will Ferrell has spoken of his pride in his Irish roots and revealed that he would love to make a film in Ireland one day.

Will Ferrell insists he is Irish
Will Ferrell insists he is Irish

Four years ago, the Anchorman star discovered that his family changed their name to Ferrell from Farrell when they left County Longford and arrived in America. He visited the country with his father and brother to celebrate.

He is now so committed to his Irish heritage that he plans to start driving on the wrong side of the road.

Barack Obama wishes to visit Ireland

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US President Barack Obama says he enjoyed his visit to Ireland last year so much that he wants to do it all over again.

He told the Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, that he will be returning sometime after the Presidential Election of November 2012.

The Hobbit is translated into Irish

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The J R Tolkien classic The Hobbit is being translated into the Irish language.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien author of The Hobbit
Tolkien

Evertype Publishers from Westport in Co Mayo have bought the rights to produce an Irish version of the novel, which introduces the character Frodo, who later goes on to destroy the ring in the climax to the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.

The Irish version is not expected to be a bestseller, but Evertype owner Michael Everson believes it will be sufficiently popular with international book collectors to make it a financial success.

Irishmen considered ugliest in the world

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The Republic of Ireland has been named as the country with the second least attractive men in the world by a leading dating website.

The announcement comes from website beautifulpeople.com, which generated the results by asking the members of the site to rate new applicants based on their looks.

When a new applicant wants to join they must upload a photograph of themselves for other members to view.

The photograph is then shown to members of the opposite sex who have already passed the test to become members of the site.

Once Upon a Secret – My hidden affair with JFK

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The former mistress of JFK has released a book about her affair with the US President.

JFK
JFK

The author, Mimi Alford, reveals details of her time with the Irish- American when she was an intern at the White House in 1962.

Trainer stunned by reaction to his comment about sex

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Horse trainer Peter Casey admits he is overwhelmed by the reaction to comments he made live on Irish TV over the weekend.

Casey celebrated his horse, Flemenstar, winning at Leopardstown, by telling interviewer Tracey Piggott: “I’ll sleep tonight, I’ll have f**kin’ sex and everything!”

The comments went out live on RTE and instantly became an internet hit.

At last- a helping hand for Irish pubs

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The traditional Irish pub is to receive a much needed shot in the arm from the Irish government amid fears it may have been heading for extinction.

More than a thousand pubs have closed in Ireland over the last six years. There have been a number of factors that have contributed to this trend.

Irish nurses bring their sporting culture to the UK

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A group of Irish nurses working in England have decided to keep in touch with their traditional culture by setting up a Gaelic football team.

The economic downturn in Ireland has driven many key workers, including nurses, to emigrate to the UK and other countries including the US, Canada and Australia.

The surge in emigration over the last few years means there are about 150 Irish nurses now working at the Royal Berkshire hospital, Reading.