50 shocking facts about Ireland you probably didn’t know

I don’t think that any Irish person ever gets bored of hearing shocking facts about Ireland.

Ireland is a fantastic country, full of amazing facts. For such a little country with a small population, Ireland has a massive amount of culture, history, and has had a huge impact on the world. There is so much to learn about Ireland, so here are fifty amazing facts about Ireland in no particular order.

1. More Irish people are living abroad than there are in Ireland. There are 80 million Irish people outside of Ireland and only around 6 million in Ireland.

2. The president of Ireland has very little power. The Taoiseach is the head of the government and controls all the power.

3. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of how green it is.

Ireland is called the Emerald Isle because of how green it is.

4. Ireland has hundreds of accents, and each town in Ireland has its own unique flavour.

5. Roughly 2% of people in Ireland speak Irish daily.

6. St. Patrick was born in Wales, not in Ireland.

7. More Guinness is sold in Nigeria than it is in Ireland.

8. Croke Park in Dublin is the fourth biggest stadium in Europe.

9. Ireland ranks sixth worldwide in the average consumption of beer per person.

10. The submarine was invented in Ireland by John Philip Holland.

11. The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia. Try pronouncing that after you have had a few pints!

12. Halloween was derived from an Irish festival called Samhain.

Another of the top Irish facts about Ireland is that Halloween is derived from the Pagan tradition of Samhain.

13. Ten million pints of Guinness are produced in Dublin every day.

14. The harp is the national symbol of Ireland and not the shamrock. It is featured on the front of Irish passports.

15. Ireland has the third-largest consumption of tea per capita.

16. Another of the top Irish facts is that a form of the Irish sport hurling is over 3,000 years old.

17. The White House, where the president of America lives, was designed by an Irishman.

One of the top Irish facts is that an Irishman designed the White House.

18. Only around nine per cent of Irish people are actually natural gingers.

19. St. Valentine is actually buried in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.

20. More people speak Polish at home than speak Irish.

21. There were never snakes in Ireland, even before Saint Patrick.

22. Irish is technically the first language in Ireland and not English.

23. Gay marriage has been legal in Ireland since 2015.

24. Abortion has been legal in Ireland since 2018.

25. The Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal drive route in the world.

Another of the top facts about Ireland is that the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal route in the world.

26. The oldest yacht club in the world is in Ireland.

27. The Irish flag was inspired by France. Green, white, and gold as opposed to blue, white, and red.

28. Argentina’s navy was founded by an Irishman.

29. Around 88% of Irish people are Roman Catholic.

30. Irish surnames that start with “Mac” means ‘son of’.

31. Irish surnames that start with “O” means ‘grandson of’.

32. Ireland has won the Eurovision song contest seven times, more times than any other country (in 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1996).

33. Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula, is from Dublin. Dracula is said to have been inspired by the Irish legend of Abhartach.

Looking another top facts about Ireland, then Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. Stoker was Irish.

34. Craoghaun Cliffs on Achill Island are the second highest cliffs in Europe. They are 688 metres above the Atlantic Ocean.

35. The Tara Mine in County Meath is the largest zinc mine in Europe and the fifth-largest in the world.

36. The guillotine was used in Ireland before it was used in France.

37. The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland.

38. Since 2009 it is illegal to be drunk in public in Ireland.

39. An Irishman designed the award given at the Oscars.

40. Ireland is home to one of the oldest pubs in the world, it opened in 900AD.

Another of the top Irish facts is that it has one of the oldest pubs in the world.

41. Hook Lighthouse in Wexford is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world.

42.  The Titanic was built in Belfast.

43. Ireland has one of the youngest populations in the world because of its high birthrate, especially within the last 50 years.

44. There have been people living in Ireland for approximately 7,000 years.

45. Ireland has had two female presidents, more than most countries in the world.

46. Ireland has its own ancient version of the Olympics called the Tailteann Games.

47. In the 18th century, Cork was the largest exporter of butter in the world.

One of the top Irish facts is that in the 18th century, Cork was the largest exporter of butter in the world.
Credit: @kerrygold_uk / Instagram

48. The Woodenbridge Hotel in Wicklow is the oldest hotel in Ireland. It opened in 1608.

49. Lots of multinational companies set up offices in Ireland because of low tax rates.

50. Roughly 34,000 Americans reported Irish ancestry in the 2000 US census.

There you have it, the top fifty Irish facts you probably didn’t know! How many of these facts were you aware of?

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Ryan McCarthy is a writer and content creator from Laois. He loves exploring new places and documenting his journey. As much as he gets excited about travelling to new places, he gets equally as excited when he thinks about coming home to Ireland and exploring more of this beautiful country. He is most likely found behind a laptop, in the gym, or watching football.