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- === Facts & Interesting Lore about Ireland and her Culture ===
- 1. Newgrange is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, located on the north side of the River Boyne. It is an exceptionally grand passage tomb built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
- 2.Ireland is the only country in the world which has a musical instrument as their national symbol.
- The oldest known harp in existence is housed in Trinity College, Dublin.
- It dates back to at least 1300!
- 3.The Hill of Tara is a hill and ancient ceremonial and burial site near Skryne in County Meath, Ireland. According to tradition, it was the inauguration place and seat of the High Kings of Ireland, and it also appears in Irish mythology.
- (Tara is the site where St. Patrick is said to have converted the High King Laoire, paving the way for the conversion of the country.)
- 4.The Cliffs of Moher are sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. They run for about 14 kilometres.
- 5.The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland.
- (According to a folklore an legend, the giant Finn McCool created the Giant's Causeway, as a causeway to Scotland.)
- 6.The Blarney Stone is a block of Carboniferous limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney, about 8 kilometres from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab. The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446.
- 7.The Irish Wolfhound is a historic sighthound dog breed from Ireland that has by its presence and substantial size inspired literature, poetry and mythology. Like all large sighthounds, it was used to pursue game by speed, famed as a guardian dog, specialising in protection against and the hunting of wolves.
- (They are the tallest dogs in the world **#STANDTALL On Twitter perphaps?**, they date back to ancient Rome etc)
- 8.The Titanic was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- 9. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in Ireland on March 17th which is a national holiday.
- 10.Croke Park in Ireland’s capital city Dublin, home of the Gaelic Athletic Association, has a capacity of 82,300! It has a rank of fourth in Europe just behind Camp Nou in Barcelona, Wembley in England and Olimpiysky in the Ukraine.
- 11.John Philip Holland (29 February 1840 – 12 August 1914) was a Christian Brother from County Clare who invented the first submarine used by the US Navy and the first Royal Navy submarine– Holland 1.
- 12.Hurling goes back 3000 years, initially played by warriors to hone their sword wielding skills and believed to be the fastest game played on grass. Gaelic football is considered a mix between rugby and soccer.
- 13.Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November(modern day Halloween originated in Ireland.)
- 14.Irish surnames beginning with O’ mean ‘descendant of ’ in Irish Gaelic. Today, there are four O’ names in the top 10 most common Irish surnames (O’Brien, O’Sullivan, O’Connor, O’Neill).
- Also on Halloween it is derived from the Irish festival of Samhain. At the end of summer, the Celts believed the gulf between our world and the world of ghosts and spirits thinned, allowing malevolent beings to wander the Earth. Irish immigrants in the US raised the popularity of Halloween in the 19th century.-US link.
- 15.The MacGillycuddy’s Reeks are Ireland’s highest mountain range, home to Carrauntoohil, which at 1,038m (3,406ft) is Ireland’s highest mountain.
- 16.One of the most well-known facts about Ireland is that Dublin is home to the world-famous Guinness Brewery. In 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for the land.
- 17. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of its lush rolling hills and vales of green. Poet William Drennan is thought to be the first to use the phrase in print, in his poem "When Erin First Rose".
- 18. Ireland has been used as a location for several famous films including Star Wars, The Princess Bride, Braveheart and Harry Potter.
- 19. Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest more than any other country – a record seven times (1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996). It was also the first country to win the contest three times in a row.
- 20. Irish wolfhounds have a heart as big as the rest of them. They are gentle, noble, sensitive and easygoing. Despite their great size and fierce appearance.
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