17 Little-Known Facts About Ireland The Bizarre and Quirky Experiences That Only Happen in Ireland
4324 ireland
Funny Facts about Ireland. Photo: ricksteves

We've gathered 17 interesting facts about Ireland and St. Patrick in honor of St. Patrick's Day that will make you long for the rocky shores and lush green hills of the Emerald Isle!

1. Ireland performs exceptionally well at the Eurovision song contest

It is the only country to have won Eurovision seven times, and it is the only country to have won three straight times. The most well-known Irish winner is arguably Niamh Kavanagh's In Your Eyes.

2. The earliest human remains found in Ireland date to 12,800 BC.

In a cave, a bear bone was discovered with obvious cut marks from stone tools. The radiocarbon date for the bone was 12,800 B.C. The bone was discovered in 1903, but it wasn't until 2010 that it was examined using modern technology.

This proves that Ireland had a population even during the Paleolithic period. The earliest evidence was previously estimated to be 8000 years old.

3. There are more Irish people living abroad than at home.

It's actually estimated that between 70 and 80 million people worldwide identify as having Irish ancestry. Famine-related mass emigrations and the pursuit of better opportunities abroad, particularly in America in the 1800s, are the main causes of this number.

The nations with the highest concentrations of Irish descendants include Australia, Canada, Argentina, and South Africa, as well as the United Kingdom, which is home to the Swedish nomads.

Of course, there are not 80 million Irish citizens who were born abroad. There are approximately 1 million Irish nationals living abroad.

4. In the 12th century, English was first introduced here.

Although English is now the language spoken by the majority of people, this wasn't always the case, and native Irish is still taught in schools.

Irish, a Gaelic language from the Celtic branch of the Indo-European language family, is very different from English. In smaller parts of Waterford, Mayo, and Meath, as well as Galway, Kerry, Cork, and Donegal, it is still the primary tongue spoken.

5. The island is home to more than 30.000 castle ruins.

There are thousands of castles scattered throughout the island, and estimates put the number of castles and ruins at 30.000. Some of the castles are available for visitors to stay in, and in some cases, the entire castle can be rented!

6.Irish people consume a lot of alcohol.

However, tea is the beverage that people drink the most, not alcohol. Only Turks consume more tea per person and per capita than Irish people. They rank fourth when it comes to alcohol consumption.

The typical Irish person drinks 2,19 kilos of tea annually (4.83 lb).

7. In Ireland, only 9% of people have naturally red hair.

It's a common misconception that Irish people have red hair, pale skin, and freckles, but this is not true. Even though this region has the highest average number of people with naturally red hair on the planet, that number is still only 9%.

8. The island of Ireland is split into two political regions.

Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, is the name of the northernmost region of the island. The Republic of Ireland, a sovereign state, is the owner of the majority of Ireland's land.

9. The oldest bar opened its doors in the year 900.

The oldest still-open bar in Ireland is thought to be Seans Bar in the town of Athlone. It was recognized as the oldest pub in Europe by Guinness World Records in 2004.

10. Polish is the second language most commonly used at home.

In comparison to Polish, which is spoken at home by more than 119.000 people, Irish is only spoken at home by about 2% of the population.

11. Samhain, a Celtic harvest festival, is where Halloween originated.

Are you a Halloween fan? Then you should give thanks to the Irish, particularly for the Celtic Samhain harvest festival, which is thought to be the origin of Halloween.

12. Ireland's nominally Roman Catholic population is 82%

Despite the fact that an increasing number of people identify as atheists with Christian roots, Ireland continues to have one of the highest church attendance rates in Europe, with about 82% of the population identifying as Roman Catholics officially.

13.Saint Patrick Was not Irish.

Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was not, contrary to popular belief, an Irishman. He was actually born in Great Britain, probably in a town in present-day Wales.

Despite being abducted by pirates, St. Patrick was transported to Ireland. After being sold into slavery, he was there for six years before hearing a voice instructing him to go back home.

He did as he was told, and after returning to Great Britain, he ordained himself as a priest before going back to Ireland as a missionary. Today, March 17th, is widely recognized as St. Patrick's Day.

14. If one of your grandparents is Irish, you can apply for Irish citizenship.

Do you have Irish ancestry? You can apply for Irish citizenship if you can provide proof of it. If you were born outside of Europe or the European Union, this is especially helpful because it allows you to apply for an Irish passport.

If you have an Irish passport, you can travel throughout Europe without having to deal with the hassle of obtaining a visa.

15.Postal Codes

Ireland is the only member of the EU without postal codes, making it one of the few nations in the world (with the exception of Dublin city). As the rest of the world has done, the nation is currently designing and implementing a nationwide postcode system for 2015.

16. Green attire

St. Patrick wasn't always associated with the color green. Actually, according to historians, St. Patrick's favorite color was light blue. According to a Time article, the clover became a symbol of Irish nationalism during the 1798 Irish Rebellion, which is when people started wearing green.


You can thank Ireland for Halloween, so as not to overwhelm you with too many celebrations. Samhain, an ancient Celtic harvest festival that marked the end of the summer, and All Saints Day eventually merged to form Halloween as we know it today.

top 17 interesting facts about canada Top 17 interesting facts about Canada!

Facts about Canada: Have you ever gone to Canada? There is something more about this interesting country. Below are 17 little interesting facts that might ...

top 17 funny facts about china Top 17 Funny Facts about China

Are you looking for facts about China? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here are 17 interesting China Facts, and further down you can ...

top 23 facts about brazils you probably didnt know Top 23 Facts about Brazils You (Probably) Didn't Know

Brazil - the country celebrating 195 years of independence - is a charismatic place, and there are tons of reasons to visit it. If you ...