Do you fancy grabbing some of the renowned ‘luck of the Irish’? The Republic of Ireland (or Eire as it is known in Gaelic) mixes dramatic coastlines, astonishing monuments, undulating hills and some of the friendliest people in the world. With its legendary nightlife, there’s a lot to enjoy. And what’s more – it’s the birthplace of Guinness. Why not come for the craic!
The Emerald Isle, as the Republic of Ireland is often called, lies to the west of the UK and is easy to reach by plane or ferry. It’s incredibly lush vegetation is largely due to its a mild climate and lots of rain. Rolling hills, mountain ranges, lakes, valleys and steep coastal cliffs combine to make Eire an exhilarating place to visit or study.
Around 4.6 million people live in the Republic of Ireland. Almost everyone can speak or understand English but Irish Gaelic is used by about a third of the population and Irish Gaelic and English are the officially recognised languages.
The President of Ireland is elected for 7 years
There’s something mystical about the country with its poetry, legends and folk tales, with many famous stories originating here. There’s lots of choice – from Finn MacCool (the famously wise Irish hero) and his Fianna (soldiers) to the heartbreaking story of Tristam and Iseulte. Merlin (King Arthur’s enchanter) is reputed to have visited Eire to steal the Kings Stone and place it at Stonehenge. St Patrick is the patron Saint (there is a national St Patrick’s day on 17th March) where everyone drinks a pint of Guinness to celebrate. Whatever you believe, there’s a rich and varied cultural heritage to discover and enjoy.
Ireland is also famous for it’s food, drink and the craic (fun, gossip, news, entertainment and enjoyable conversation). As well as champ (mashed potatoes with green onions and butter), Ireland is renowned for Irish stew (beef, lamb, mutton and potatoes) and coddle (pork stew), boxty (potatoes pancakes), colcannon (potatoes and cabbage) and of course the ‘national ‘drink Guinness.
Ireland has had its fair share of the fallout of the economic downturn. The Celtic Tiger (as it was known in the boom years) is now tamed and Eire is working its way through the recovery. On the plus side, the cost of living has gone down so it’s now more affordable than ever to live and socialise in Eire.
The capital city is Dublin and other cities include Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway. Dublin is a bustling port with a vibrant nightlife. Its hundreds of restaurants, bars and pubs combine to make Dublin one of the most cosmopolitan, lively and popular capital cities to visit.
Wherever you go in Eire, you’ll stumble across traditional Irish music mixed in with modern bands in a country that has carved its place on the world’s music stage.
Sports which are popular in Ireland include hockey and rugby union and gaelic football which is the most watched sport in Ireland.
At a glance
- Population: 4,803,748 (2018)
- International dialling code: 353
- Time – GMT
- Languages – English, Irish Gaelic
Europe, member of the EU