Ireland is known as The Emerald Isle or The Land of Saints and Scholars. In truth it is one of the world’s fastest growing economies where time no longer stands still. It is a country with a young vibrant and energetic population eager to be part of the Celtic Tiger as the rapidly growing economy has become known as. Ireland is divided into 32 counties and 4 provinces-Munster, Ulster, Connaught and Leinster. The country has a population in excess of 5 million inhabitants. Ireland is famed the world over for its music, literature and friendly folk. U2, Yeats, Beckett and Joyce being just some of the more recognisable names.
Ireland boasts a unique culture one that is truly it’s own. While English is the most widely spoken language Gaelic or Irish was the only language spoken until the early 20th century. Gaelic is a fascinating and deeply meaningful language and is still taught widely in all schools today. It is reputed to be one of the hardest three languages in the world to master. Gaelic games such as football and hurling are widely played in Ireland and are a true spectacle to watch. Hurling, played with 15 men on each team and with sticks is the fastest field game in the world. Both games retain amateur status to this day. Dublin is the capital city and is located in the East of the country on The River Liffey.
With a population in excess of 1.9 million Dublin is a lively city with lots to do and see. Home to the famous Guinness beer, Dublin has acquired an International reputation as a great party city. The main landmarks are Grafton Street which is the principle shopping street, O Connell Street-the cities main street and Temple Bar. Temple Bar is the bohemian part of the city full of lively bars, restaurants, nightclubs and art galleries. Ireland is a real gem and a must see destination for any avid traveller.
For those interested in exploring the mystical Isle of Ireland reserving accommodation in advance is always advisable. Car rental should also be booked well in advance and provides a great way to travel at your leisure. Remember that driving in Ireland is on the left hand side of the road!