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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Unusual Facts About IRELAND

unusual facts about ireland pic Before we go to the unusual facts about Ireland, just a brief introduction of IRELAND to add some spice. Ireland, is located in Far Western Europe, in the North Atlantic Ocean, and separated from Great Britain by Saint George's Channel on the south-east, the Irish Sea on the east, and the North Channel on the north-east. Politically, the island is divided into Northern Ireland, a constituent part of Great Britain, and the Republic of Ireland, formerly Eire. The island is divided into four historical provinces-Connaught (Connacht), Leinster, Munster, and Ulster-and administrative units called counties. The Republic of Ireland consists of Connaught, Leinster, and Munster provinces, totaling 23 counties, and in the north, 3 counties of Ulster Province. Northern Ireland consists of 26 districts, the remainder of Ulster Province. The area of the island is 84,431 sq km (32,599 sq mi) (Republic of Ireland, 70,283 sq km/27,136 sq mi; Northern Ireland, 14,148 sq km/5463 sq mi).


* In Ireland, starting a fight by punching someone in the face is considered a friendly greeting. Starting a fight by throwing your drink in someone's face, however, is grossly insulting, wastes precious alcohol, and carries the death penalty.
* Only one Irishman has ever won the Tour de France (Stephen Roche, 1987). Although this SOUNDS pathetic, I'm actually quite impressed that they found someone sober enough to sit on a bicycle without toppling over.
* Irish pop band The Boomtown Rats recently scored their first hit single since 1979 with their War on Terror ballad, "I Don't Like Mohammeds".
* Like the US, Ireland's constitution guarantees its citizens the right to free speech. It doesn't do them any good, though, since the only difference between Irish speech and incoherent drunk-dialing is the phone.
* The Titanic was built by the Belfast shipbuilding company, Harland & Wolff. Although the company was eventually cleared of negligence charges for its part in the ill-fated ship's construction, they WERE convicted of giving Leonardo DiCaprio career options beyond "pretty man-whore".
* The ancestral language of Irish people is Irish Gaelic. Nowadays 1.6 million people claiming a self-reported competence in Irish, but only 380,000 fluent speakers remain.
* Ireland is one of the world leader for pop music, with singers and bands like Horslips, U2, Thin Lizzy, Boomtown Rats, The Corrs, Clannad, Boyzone, Ronan Keating, The Cranberries, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Westlife and Enya. Add to this artists of Irish descent like Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison of the Beatles, Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher of Oasis, Bruce Springsteen, or Johnny Rotten (lead singer of the Sex Pistols).
* Notable Hollywood actors from the Republic of Ireland include Barry Fitzgerald, Maureen O'Sullivan, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Daniel Day Lewis (by citizenship), Colm Meaney, Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy.
* Other actors or actresses of Irish descent include : Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Macaulay Culkin, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Heather Graham, and Bill Murray.
* Many Irish family names start with "Mac" or "O'...", which means respectively "son of ..." and "grandson of ..." in Gaelic.
* The Irish consume in average 131.1 liters of beer per year - the 2nd highest per-capita consumption after the Czech Republic.
* Famous Irish breweries include Guinness, Smithwicks (Kilkenny), and Harp Lager.
* The three most famous symbols of Ireland are the green Shamrock, the harp, and the Celtic cross.
* 88% of Irish citizens are nominally Roman Catholic. The Republic of Ireland has one of the highest rates of church attendance in the Western World (around 45% of regular Mass attendance).
* Ireland was founded in 432 AD by a group of masochists who actually ENJOYED leading bleak lives of hopeless despair. Many of their descendants would later emigrate to Chicago and become Cubs fans.
* In 1998 Danny O'Malley of Dublin created the first internet search engine to specialize in Irish-related information: Alcohoogle.
* Currently, every search term entered returns the Guinness home page.
* To prevent illegal immigration into the country, Irish Border Patrol members guard the country's beaches by hurling empty whiskey bottles at swimmers.
* The Irish possess the most unstoppable Special Forces in the world, which are capable of successfully invading any nation with at least one distillery.
* According to noted zoologist Jonathan Swift, the Irish - unlike rattlesnakes - really DO taste like chicken.
* Ireland has long been famous for the irritable temperament of its inhabitants. It used to be called Angerland, until St. Patrick realized that "ire" was a much more sophisticated-sounding word.
* The national symbol of Ireland is the shamrock. Which used to be called the "samrock", but the new pronunciation quickly took over, since that's how a liquored-to-the-gills Irishman would pronounce it, anyway.
Ireland is the third largest island in Europe and the twenty sixth largest island in the world.
* Ireland has an area of 70,273 sq km (27,133 sq miles)
* The longest river in Ireland, the Shannon is also the longest river in the British Isles.
* Ireland is a country of many rivers and lakes, lakes are referred to as loughs ( pronounced as locks)e.g. Lough Swilly.
* Ireland is a neutral state and is not a member of N.A.T.O.