Portal:Ireland

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Northern Ireland
Satellite image of Ireland

Ireland (Irish: Éire, Ulster Scots: Airlann) is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. The Republic of Ireland covers five-sixths of the island. Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. The population of Ireland is estimated to be 6.2 million. Slightly less than 4.5 million are estimated to live in the Republic of Ireland and slightly less than 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.

Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain to epitomise the Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has a lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 1600s. Today, it is the most deforested area in Europe. Twenty-six mammal species are native to Ireland, with some, such as the red fox, hedgehog and badger, being very common. Others, like the Irish hare, red deer and pine marten are less so.

Irish culture has had a significant influence on culture world-wide, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and learning. A strong indigenous culture, expressed for example through native sports and the Irish language, exists alongside a regional culture, such as Rugby football and golf. Read more ...


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The Shamrock

The shamrock, a symbol of the whole of Ireland and a registered trademark of the Republic of Ireland, is a three-leafed old white clover, sometimes (rarely nowadays) Trifolium repens (white clover, known in Irish as seamair bhán) but more usually today Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí). The diminutive version of the Irish word for "clover" ("seamair") is "seamaróg", which was anglicised as "shamrock", representing a close approximation of the original Gaelic pronunciation. However, other three-leafed plants — such as black medic (Medicago lupulina), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and Common wood sorrel (genus Oxalis) — are sometimes designated as shamrocks. The shamrock was traditionally used for its medical properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times. It is also a common way to represent St. Patrick's Day, a holiday celebrated on March 17th. Shamrocks are said to bring good luck.. Read more...

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Stpatrick.jpg

Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius, Irish: Naomh Pádraig) was a Roman Britain-born Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. He entered the church, as his father and grandfather had before him, becoming a deacon and a bishop. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he worked and no link can be made between Patrick and any church. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish monastery system evolved after the time of Patrick and the Irish church did not develop the diocesan model that Patrick and the other early missionaries had tried to establish.

The available body of evidence does not allow the dates of Patrick's life to be fixed with certainty, but it appears that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Two letters from him survive, along with later hagiographies from the seventh century onwards. Many of these works cannot be taken as authentic traditions. Uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster (see below) would imply that he lived from 378 to 493, and ministered in modern day northern Ireland from 433 onwards. Read more...

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1981 Irish hunger strike · Abbey Theatre · Aldfrith of Northumbria · Arnold Bax · Book of Kells · Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan · Richard Cantillon · Charles I of England · Tom Crean · Andrew Cunningham · Drapier's Letters · Dave Gallaher · Geography of Ireland · Michael Gomez · Augusta, Lady Gregory · Head VI · House of Plantagenet · International goals scored by Robbie Keane · Irish phonology · Irish Victoria Cross recipients · James Joyce · James II of England · George Moore · Murder of Julia Martha Thomas · Cillian Murphy · Nelson's Pillar · James Nesbitt · Postage stamps of Ireland · Representative peer · Ernest Shackleton · George Bernard Shaw · Charles Villiers Stanford · John Millington Synge · The Revolution Will Not Be Televised · U2 · William Butler Yeats

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United Kingdom Northern Ireland Scotland Isle of Man Wales Cornwall England European Union Europe
United Kingdom Northern Ireland Scotland Isle of Man Wales Cornwall England European Union Europe

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