flag of ireland
Ireland consists of 32 counties, 26 in the south and six in the north. On December 6, 1921 the southern counties obtained independence from Great Britain and are known as The Republic of Ireland. The northern counties remained with Britain and are called Northern Ireland. Reunification is currently in negotiation. For the educational purposes of the Northern Arizona Celtic Heritage Society, we are treating the entire island as one entity.
Population Republic of Ireland: 3,900,000 (2002); Northern Ireland: 1,900,000 (2002)
Area Republic of Ireland: 27,136 square miles; Northern Ireland: 5,463 square miles
Agriculture and fishing Farming, shellfish, herring, mackerel, salmon and trout, dairy farming, grains including barley and wheat, potatoes, sugar beets
Animals of the region Cattle, sheep
Culture Authors George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, William Butler Yeats, John Synge, Sean O’Casey, Jonathan Swift and C. S. Lewis, architect James Hoban designed and built the White House, Washington, D.C., dance troupe “Riverdance”
Capital and major cities Dublin, Republic of Ireland; Limerick, Cork, Waterford ; Belfast, Northern Ireland
Folklore, legends, crafts St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, Leprechauns grant wishes, the shamrock symbolizes the Holy Trinity
Foods and beverages
Beer and whiskey, black pudding, salmon, oysters, haddock, mussels; dairy products, corned beef and cabbage, potatoes. The origin of “Irish coffee” is in doubt ~ it was probably invented at Shannon Airport, Ireland, but certainly made world-famous at The Buena Vista, in San Francisco!
Spirits of the Region
Industry and products, past and present Crystal (Galway, Waterford), textiles including wool (Aran sweaters and Bainin wool), Donegal tweed, beer and whiskey, Belleek and Aynsley china, Irish linens (plain and Damask), peat, mining of lead and zinc, agricultural and meat processing
Inventions, discoveries, and notable people Naval architect John Philip Holland, from County Cork, designed the U.S. Navy’s first submarine hull, the Plunger, physics: Boyle’s Law, Robert Boyle, boxer Jack Dempsey, current world-renowned personalities include actors Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh, and Pierce Brosnan, muscians James Galway, Van Morrison, musical group U-2, and Sinead O’Connor
Musical instruments The human voice, in the form of world-renowned Irish tenors, uillean pipes, fiddle, flute
Symbols of the region The claddagh, symbolic of love (the heart), faith in friendship (the clasped hands) and loyalty (the crown).
Tourist sites Giant’s Causeway, Ring of Kerry, Book of Kells (housed at Trinity College), Dublin Castle, Aran Islands
Unique qualities Immensely popular Guinness Beer and national sports of Gaelic football and hurling.