Often referred to as the Emerald Isle, Ireland has vibrant cities tucked beside cozy bays and sheer cliffs. Creative Irish souls include: James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, W.B Yeats, Seamus Heaney and George Bernard Shaw. Guinness, Jameson, Bushmills, and Kilkenny are favoured tipples. Hearty stews and rugged landscapes. Pubs with Irish music: craic agus ceoil. What's not to love?!

🙂 Pints of Guinness and shots of Irish Whiskey. Hearty Irish stew. Cozy pubs with live Irish folk music. Irish Jokes! Scenery.

🙁 The “Penal Laws,” which the English ruling class passed over the Irish peasant class in 1695, were a stringent set of rules that – among many other prohibitions – forbade Irish ownership of land and required the transfer of property from Catholics to Protestants. As a result, the Irish essentially became sharecroppers dependent on one crop: the potato. Potato farming, the profession many Irish were forced into, basically allowed for a subsistence life on farmland owned by an English landlord, who resold this and other crops at great profit. The landlords prospered; the people struggled. In 1845 a blight affected the crop and sharecroppers could not pay their rent so they were evicted. When hungry people began to eat the blighted potatoes, they contracted cholera or typhus. Thousands died. In the decade from 1840 to 1850, 1.5m out of 8.2m Irish people disappeared. Some emigrated, but many perished. Ireland has never reached the population levels it held in the mid-19th century

Currency: Euro (Formerly the Irish Punt)

THREE things we never knew about Ireland:

  1. St Patrick wasn’t Irish! Contrary to popular belief, and despite being the Patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was not actually from Ireland. Born in Wales around 386 AD, he was in fact captured by the Irish and sold into slavery, working as a shepherd in the West of Ireland. Later in life, he returned to Ireland as a missionary, helping to spread Christianity in Ireland.
  2. The Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal driving route i the world. The 2,500Km route passes through nine counties and three provinces.
  3. The shamrock is recognised around the world as a symbol of Ireland and all things Irish. But the harp is actually the official National Symbol of Ireland. You can see the real harp on which the symbol is based in the Trinity College library, which dates back to the fifteenth century.

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