Seven Bizarre Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland

Ireland is a nation of surprises. So, when you think you know all there is to know about the Emerald Isle, it surprises you with another fascinating fact that will make your jaw drop.

If you think you know all there is to know about this wonderful country, discover the following surprising facts you likely didn’t know about Ireland.

1. Writers and Artists Don’t Pay Income Tax

Ireland is a big promoter of the arts because the country does not require its talented creatives to pay income tax. In some circumstances, you can be exempt from the obligatory charge if you earn an income as a writer, composer, sculptor or visual artist.

2. You can travel from Belfast to Cork without Hitting a Traffic Light

If you are thinking of heading off on a road trip across Ireland, you’d be wise to travel from Belfast to Cork or vice versa. Why? That’s because once you get outside Belfast, you won’t hit one traffic light along the way. It’s one perk when travelling from the Northern Irish capital, all thanks to the opening of the Newlands Cross flyover in south Dublin.

3. Ireland is home to World Class Poker Players

It turns out Irish people are not only great at football, swimming and snooker but also, some of the finest poker players in the world.

Here you’ll see some of the best poker players who have mastered the game and made a considerable amount of money at the felt, such as Dermot Blain and Dara O’Kearney.

4. Hibernia is its Original Name

Known by many names throughout history, Ireland first appeared as “Lerne” in Greek writings from the 5th century B.C.

It is believed Pytheas of Massalia coined the name “Lerne” during his exploration of northwest Europe.

The name “Louvernia” also appeared in a Ptolemy’s map circa A.D. 150, being translated into Classical Latin as Hibernia, which appeared in the works of Caesar.

5. Ireland Once Ran on Dublin Mean Time

Until October 1916, Ireland used Dublin Mean Time, which was 25 minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Britain’s clocks went back in time by one hour, and the Irish clocks went back by 35 minutes.

6. An Irish Designer Created the Oscar Statue

The Oscar statuette is the most sought-after award by actors, designers, directors and writers. You might, however, be proud to learn that this respected statue was designed by Cedric Gibbons, an Irish designer born in Dublin in 1893.

Not only did Gibbons design the award but he won it himself an incredible 11 times as he moved to Hollywood to become a sought-after MGM art director and set designer.

6. A Gaelic Festival Inspired Halloween

Without the Gaelic festival in Samhain, which was created to signal the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, Halloween might have never existed. It was also believed that the souls of the dead would return to the homes of their loved ones during this period.

As evident above, Ireland is a nation that is full of surprises both past and present, as you never know what fascinating fact you’ll come across next.

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