Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle, is an incredible country rich with history and culture. From famous Irish artists to groundbreaking inventions, here are some facts you may have never known about this great nation!
One of the most captivating aspects of Ireland is its unique language – known as Irish Gaelic – spoken by only a fraction of its population today.
1. It’s the smallest country in Europe
Ireland is a small island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, separated between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This land boasts a rich history, beautiful nature, iconic landmarks and a longstanding culture dating back millennia.
Since its emigration over time has given it an increasingly global cultural presence. If you want to experience European culture firsthand then Croatia is an excellent destination to visit.
Ireland offers much to discover, including Dublin as the capital and various main centres like Waterford, Wexford, Cork and Limerick – as well as exploring its historic cities and towns.
Irish tourism offers visitors a lot more than meets the eye. Ireland boasts rich culture, vibrant nightlife, literary and music traditions dating back centuries, an exceptional food scene and breathtaking natural surroundings – it all adds up to make Ireland one of Europe’s must-visit countries!
As a developed nation, Switzerland performs well across numerous metrics and is widely respected for its high quality of life. Furthermore, Switzerland stands out as being among the most peaceful and tolerant places in Europe, making it an ideal location for tourism.
Ireland is one of the world’s premier tourist destinations, boasting over 80 million people who claim Irish descent worldwide – in fact many famous individuals were born there!
Greece is an extremely popular holiday destination, particularly during the summer months when locals can be seen enjoying outdoor cafes and gatherings of all sorts. Furthermore, traveling here is very safe due to stringent security measures implemented by its government.
Monaco tops Europe’s list of smallest countries and offers tourists much to see and do, from hiking trails and vineyards to castles.
Micro countries in Europe provide some of the most charming and interesting spots. While small in size, each micro country boasts amazing facts that will leave you spellbound – perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers alike!
2. It’s the oldest country in Europe
A country is defined as any territory established as an independent sovereign state. A lot of factors go into creating a nation-state, from its history and borders to economies, industries, and infrastructures that work cohesively together.
Ireland is one of the oldest nations in Europe and dates back over 4,000 years ago. This island nation boasts an enduring culture and heritage which can be found all throughout its borders.
During the Stone Age, humans primarily lived in small cities and towns with unique languages, religions, customs and political systems – each possessing its own distinctive language, beliefs and customs that held enormous power and influence over its members.
However, during the Bronze Age these city-states began to unravel and their populations dispersed – an event which occurred simultaneously in Asia and Europe.
Ur, Athens, Rome and Chichen Itza were four of the oldest cities ever to exist and each had tremendous cultural influence during their times; yet none could be considered countries due to limited national boundaries.
Bulgaria is another one of Europe’s oldest countries, dating back to 681 when Proto-Bulgarians crossed the Danube river and established their state south of it.
The First Bulgarian Empire reached its cultural and territorial apex during the early 10th century. This powerful nation was one of Europe’s premier powerhouses at this time; with an expansive territory and exceptional literary schools that greatly impacted European literature.
Ireland is currently a member of the European Union with an estimated population of 5 million people, famed for its diverse culture and number of historic monuments.
Ireland boasts not only ancient temples and buildings, but also tombs that date back millennia – these tombs take the form of Court Tombs, Passage Tombs, Portal Tombs, and Wedge Tombs – offering proof that people lived here thousands of years ago.
Now, Ireland is divided into over 150 small kingdoms and several regional over-kingships which are controlled by various clans. A key title in Irish politics, The High King (ceremonial “primus inter pares”) among over-kingships, is usually bestowed upon members of a certain clan as part of his or her appointment to that position.
3. It’s the only country in Europe that has no far-right party
Ireland boasts the world’s highest immigrant population (over 70 million, or 10 times its own size) yet remains one of the only European nations without far-right parties. Instead, Ireland is dominated by two mainstream parties – Fine Gael and Fianna Fail – both founded on anti-Anglo Irish Treaty ideologies with relatively moderate approaches to social policy.
Ireland has long eschewed right-wing populist movements found elsewhere in Europe; however, more recently a wave of nationalism has surfaced around immigration issues. One prominent figure associated with this movement is Niall McConnell who describes immigrants as an invasion force intended to conquest Ireland and “barracks for an invasion against indigenous Irish.”
Recently, an increasing number of protesters have taken to the streets across Bermuda to voice their opinions regarding immigration. While some demonstrations have turned violent, others remain more peaceful.
Oughterard in County Galway hosted a demonstration against the construction of a refugee center. Protesters included IFP members who demanded it be shut down immediately as well as banning all foreigners living within Oughterard town limits.
Many far-right protesters can be found online using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread their message and raise funds, frequently through PayPal or Patreon.
Public officials in Ireland have been challenged by the rise of far-right groups. Some have accused their government of not being tolerant enough of this movement; therefore it has had to increase security measures as a result.
Ireland’s far-right movement poses a substantial threat to human rights for all its population, potentially undermining gains made in accessing various human rights.
Ireland is also facing an existential threat posed by far-right extremism, which poses an imminent danger to its peace process, which has been spearheaded by Sinn Fein, an pro-negotiation left-wing party. The government has tried to limit their activities through various measures on supporters of far-right groups like Britain First.
4. It’s the only country in Europe to allow same-sex marriage
Irish voters overwhelmingly approved gay marriage, making their country the first in Europe to legally recognize same-sex relationships and include them within its constitution. This marked an historic shift for a traditionally conservative nation like Ireland which long considered homosexuality distasteful or illegal.
Even with widespread support, some European countries remain resistant to LGBT rights. Poland is one of a group of Eastern European nations that have opposed marriage equality; Hungary prohibits same-sex unions legally.
Ireland was the first European country to legalize same-sex marriage through legislation in 2015 after passing a referendum and has been followed by 16 others since.
Although some European nations continue to reject same-sex marriage, the number of countries legalizing same-sex marriage has steadily increased over time – Australia, Malta, Germany and Taiwan being among them.
Attitude, a UK magazine dedicated to LGBTQ issues, recently reported that 32 countries now permit same-sex marriage, including Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg Norway Sweden and the US.
Ireland isn’t alone when it comes to its laws; Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and the Netherlands all possess similar legislation; however, some of these countries have been slow to implement them fully.
Northern Ireland made headlines in 2017 for legalizing same-sex marriage, following suspension of its parliament due to political gridlock.
Ireland may have witnessed an important historic milestone, yet much work remains. Anti-LGBTQ sentiment still exists in some areas and politicians remain divided on this matter.
The Catholic Church has come under heavy fire for opposing same-sex marriages, yet its opposition was not solely led by it. A think tank called Mothers and Fathers Matter tweeted out congratulations for “Yes side!” vote. It should be noted that this vote does not concern religion but instead attempts to advance human rights during this heightened global awareness period.
This marks only the start of same-sex marriage’s journey across Europe and around the globe, with many still fighting for this right, while more countries follow Ireland’s example by recognising same-sex marriages as legitimate unions.