irish-trivia

Irish Trivia is the newest page, at The Irish Gift House, where you may test your knowledge of the Emerald Isle. We are gathering some interesting facts regarding Ireland’s storied history, which we hope you find entertaining.

>Imbolc - Celtic Feast of Renewal and PurificationImbolc (pronounced IM-bolg or IM-bolk) is a Celtic festival celebrated from February 1 through sundown February 2, marking the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.Traditionally, Imbolc represents the beginning of spring and the time when the first lambs are born. It is known as the Celtic feast of renewal and purification.

The ancient Celts followed a lunar-solar calendar system, which determined the timing of their festivals based upon the cycles of the moon and the sun. These celebrations marked important events in the agricultural year, such as planting, harvesting, and the changing of seasons.

Historically, Imbolc was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.

Imbolc coincides with the Christian holiday, St. Brigid’s Feast Day, which is celebrated February 1.

>Nollaig na mBean - Women's Christmas!

January 6 is the Feast Day of the Epiphany which marks the end of the twelve days of the Christmas Season. The season starts with the revelation of Christ to Israel in His birth on Christmas Day and ended with the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles with the visit of the Three Wise Men or Magi at Epiphany.
In Ireland, Epiphany is also known as Nollaig na mBean, which translates from the Irish language to Women's Christmas in English. On this day women are not responsible for doing any of the housework, taking care of the children or cooking the family meal.

The women traditionally meet at each other's homes for some relaxation and socializing that includes food and drinks. The meals would tend to be baked delicacies such as scones and cream cakes, washed down with a nice pot of tea or maybe something a little bit stronger.

The men would stay at home and take down the Christmas decorations, see off the visitors and look after the house and children.

>Irish Christmas Traditions>The Laden Table
After the Christmas Eve meal, the dinner kitchen table is again set and on it are placed a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk, and a large lit candle. The door to the house is left unlatched so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveler, could avail of the welcome.

>The Candle in the Window

In the late 16th Century, England imposed Penal Laws in Ireland which effectively outlawed the Catholic Church and the Catholic Mass. The faithful Irish did not think well of these English mandates and a candle was placed in the front window of a home to indicate to others that this was a safe place for priests to perform Mass.

The meaning of the candle in the window, which was traditionally lit by the youngest member of the family, has since evolved into a welcome sign for the Holy Family; it can also represent the love for a family member who cannot be home at Christmas.

It is now common to see the front windows of Irish homes lavishly decorated with several electrical candles and lights at Christmas time. This once exclusively Irish Christmas tradition has now transcended to Christians throughout the world.

>The Holly Wreath

A holly wreath has been traditionally placed on Irish front doors during the Christmas season. While many in Ireland's past could not afford store bought decoration, even the poorest of the poor could afford to gather the abundant sprigs of holly and every home was decorated with a holly wreath.

In Celtic mythology, the holly was the sacred twin of the oak tree. The deciduous oak was the controller of the sunny summer months while the evergreen holly controlled the dark balance of the year. The Druids believed the holly to own shielding characteristics that offered protection against evil spirits and magical powers. Celtic lore believed that bringing the leaves of the holly tree inside during the cold months would provide sanctuary from the winter chill for the wee fairy folk, who in return would be generous to those who lived in the home.

Christians have also given the holly tree special reverence as it is believe that holly formed part of the crown of thorns worn at the crucifixion and it was Christ's blood that gave the holly berries their red color. Christians are also credited for giving the holly tree its name which was derived from the word holy.

Decorating with a wreath on your door is another Irish Christmas tradition that has evolved to become common for Christians throughout the world.

>Halloween's Celtic Roots

Samhain, pronounced Sah-ween, is the Celtic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter; today we know the day as Halloween.

Samhain straddles the time between autumn and winter that coincided with the periods of abundance and shortage. On the verge of the darker half of the year, Samhain marked the last opportunity for fun, but it was also a time of enhanced superstition.

The Samhain festival starts in the evening of October 31st and continued through November 1st. Samhain indicated three critical dates in the Celtic calendar: the end of the year, the beginning of the year, and the start of winter.

Samhain is roughly between the fall equinox and the winter solstice; additionally, Samhain is one of the four Celtic seasonal celebrations, the other three being Imbolc on February 1st, Beltane on May 1st, and Lughnasadh on August 1st. These important dates in the Celtic calendar were traditional observed in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and in parts of Brittany, Cornwall, and Wales.

Many important actions in ancient Irish tradition happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time of the year when livestock were brought down from the summer pastures and when animals were slaughtered and stored for the long cold winter.

Because Samhain was considered a threshold time, the souls of the dead could more easily travel between worlds and invariably they would return to their former homes where they were welcome. Meals were prepared and the souls of dead loved ones were gestured to attend with a place setting left for them at the table.

A traditional Samhain dish, that continues to be served today, is colcannon, a potato and cabbage dish with charms hidden in the mixture. The charms that were found in the colcannon were seen as an indication for the future. For example, a button meant you would remain a bachelor, and a thimble meant you would remain a spinster for the coming year, a ring meant you would be soon married, and a coin meant you would come into wealth.

During Samhain, the ancient Celts would light large bonfires to aid the dead on their way. The bonfires were also lit as protection from the potentially evil spirits and fairies that were also able to move more freely between this world and the Otherworld during Samhain. Additional Samhain rituals related to bonfires included throwing a clipping of your hair into the raging fire and then later while sleeping you would dream of your future love. Another practice involved ushering the cattle between the fires as a cleansing ceremony after the bones of the previously butchered stock had been thrown into the bonfire. This fire of bones eventually evolved into our vernacular as bonfire.

Bobbing for apples is another ritual that originated with the fall festival; the implication was the first single person to effectively bite and grab an apple would be the next person to marry. The consequence may be unknown to today's participants, but bobbing for apples is offered at many Halloween parties.

The earliest Halloween costumes, in the form of hollowed out animal heads, can also be connected to Samhain. The rational was these scary costumes would protect the human by scaring away the evil spirits that had entered from the Otherworld. Believing that offerings would be appeasing, many would leave gifts of food outside their doors to keep these evil spirits from entering their homes. These two combined rituals are partially what evolved into today's trick or treat.

To remove many of the pagan rituals from Samhain, the Catholic Church, during the 9th century, changed the date of All Saints' Day to November 1st, and added November 2nd as All Soul's Day. Eventually these three days, October 31st included, formed what we know as the modern Halloween, but it wasn't until large numbers of Irish immigrated to the United States in the 1800's that these traditions took hold in this country.

>Irish Banshee Trivia

Irish folklore regarding the banshee is evidenced as old as the 8th Century. Banshee is derived from Gaelic “bean sídhe,” meaning “fairy woman” or “woman of the fairy mound.”

A banshee is a herald of death. If you see one, pray for your family’s safety, for surely one of your family members will be joining her soon.

All banshees are females; they are the ghostly spirits of women who have had violent deaths. They are generally described with long hair that may be silver, red, white, or gray color. Other, more horrifying depictions include headless, carrying a bowl of blood.

A banshee may appear as a young woman, sometimes a washerwoman washing blood out of clothes, or as an old crone.

A banshee doesn’t cause death; she merely serves as a warning of an impending demise. However, some legends are contradictory, claiming immediate death if you dare look directly into her bloodshot eyes. Additionally, a banshee’s incessant screaming has been alleged to cause insanity or suicide.

A banshee’s scream is called “keening,” which is a traditional form of expressing sorrow for your departed family members or dying loved ones. The word “keen” derives from the Gaelic “caoineadh,” meaning “to weep.”

Unlike the Grim Reaper, who carries a scythe, a banshee is often reported to carry a comb. According to Irish superstition, if you find a hair comb on the ground, under no circumstances pick it up. According to Irish legend, it may be the comb of a banshee, picking it up is a sure indicator that your death is drawing near.

>The Irish in America – American Irish Details from the 2020 US Census

The 2020 US Census has released that 38,597,428 people (16.4%) said they were Irish alone or in any combination, making it the third largest group.

English, 46.5 million, is the largest group and German, 44.9 million, is the second largest group.

However, to put these numbers into perspective, 1840 populations, prior to the Great Irish Famine, were approximately: England – 19 million (Ireland not included) Germany – 30.5 million, and Ireland – 8 million.

At the state level, the “Irish alone or in any combination” category reviled that California was number one with 3.3 million, followed by New York - 2.5 million, Pennsylvania - 2.2 million, Texas - 2.1 million, and Florida - 2.1 million.

The same category, at the county level, revealed that Cook County, Illinois was number one with 567 thousand. Next, in order: Los Angeles County, California - 545 thousand, Maricopa County, Arizona - 514 thousand, Middlesex County, Massachusetts - 357 thousand, and San Diego County, California - 356 thousand.

>Irish Pub Trivia

Why do Irish pubs have the proprietor’s family name over the front door? 1872 Irish legislation made it a legal requirement. The legacy of this law has become a tradition, which is a unique feature for Irish pubs around the world.

According to the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland there are 7,193 pubs in Ireland. Additionally, there are approximately 4,000 Irish pubs in the United States and about 3,000 Irish pubs in the balance of the world.

One of the reasons for the popularity of Irish pubs in non-English speaking countries is that is that you are sure to find English speaking people at the establishment.

There was a proliferation of Irish pubs in the United States during the height of 19th Century Irish immigration. It was a relatively easy way for an Irish immigrant to establish a foothold in business, as the entry costs were low, and the demand was high.

In Ireland, your local pub may have also been the morgue. The Coroners Act of 1846 decreed that a dead body had to be brought to the nearest public house for storage until further arrangements for it had been made. This was because beer cellars were cool and would slow the decomposition process. This legislation wasn't repealed until 1962.

>Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival – County Clare, Ireland

Throughout the month of September, the mineral springs spa town of Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, celebrates the world famous Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival with music and some mighty craic.

The festival has been held annually since 1857.

During the festival, Lisdoonvarna’s population swells from around 800 people to over 40,000. Singles and festivalgoers from around the world now travel to the festival.

Following tradition and the September harvests, bachelor farmers from all over Ireland head to Lisdoonvarna to find themselves a potential wife, with the help of some liquid courage and a “basadoiri,” matchmaker in English.

The festival is Europe’s largest and most famous singles event.

The festival is organized by third generation matchmaker (and horse trader) Willie Daly who continues this age-old Irish tradition. It is alleged that he has arranged over 3,000 marriages in fifty years of matchmaking.

The festival culminates with the Queen of the Burren and the Mr. Lisdoonvarna competitions to find the most eligible lady and gentleman of that year.

>Irish Naming Pattern

The "Irish Naming Pattern" is a real system of child-naming that was used in Ireland for approximately two centuries, beginning in the late 1700s, tapering off in the mid-1900s. Additionally, the Irish Naming Pattern was often used in the Irish immigrant’s new country for a couple of generations. Many Irish families, regardless of social class or religion, maintained this pattern closely. The Irish naming pattern, which may be helpful in researching your family tree, is as follows:

• 1st son was named after the father's father.
• 2nd son was named after the mother's father.
• 3rd son was named after the father.
• 4th son was named after the father's eldest brother.
• Subsequent sons were named after other paternal uncles, in order of the age of the uncles.
• 1st daughter was named after the mother's mother.
• 2nd daughter was named after the father's mother.
• 3rd daughter was named after the mother.
• 4th daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister.
• Subsequent daughters were named after other maternal aunts, in order of the age of the aunts.

>Irish Heroes of the American Revolution

Approximately 38% of Washington’s troops were either Irish born or of Irish ancestry, per Revolutionary and Colonial America historian, Michael O’Brien.

Revolutionary muster rolls of the American army include 695 Kellys, 494 Murphys, 331 McCarthys, 327 Connors or O’Connors, 322 Ryans, and 248 Doughertys.

At Washington’s Morristown, NJ, winter camp, the March 17, 1780, password was “Saint” and the countersign was “Patrick.”

John Sullivan, son of schoolmaster Owen Sullivan of Limerick, organized the December 14, 1774, raid on Fort William & Mary, New Hampshire, which yielded one hundred barrels of gunpowder, later to be used against the British at Bunker hill. John Sullivan rose to the rank of major general in the American army.

Irish born American born generals included John Stark and William Thompson, Londonderry, Richard Montgomery and Richard Butler, Dublin, and John Shee, County Meath.

The father of the American Navy, Commodore John Barry, was born in County Wexford.

Cork born Maurice O’Brien and his five sons, along with local fishermen and neighbors, captured the British sloop-of-war, HMS Margaretta, when it entered Machias Bay, Maine. The British sent two more sloops north from Boston to regain Margaretta. O’Brien and his men captured them too.

During the October 7, 1777, battle of Saratoga, sharpshooter Tim Murphy picked off British general Brigadier Simon Fraser.

Three signers of the Declaration of Independence, James Smith, Matthew Thornton and George Taylor, were born in Ireland. Five signers were of Irish descent, Charles Carroll, John Dunlap, Thomas Lynch, Jr., George Read, and Edward Rutledge.

>JFK’s Historic Trip to Ireland

John F Kennedy was the first US President to visit Ireland, arriving June 26, 1963.

JFK was determined to trace his Irish roots during the four-day visit. While there he met cousins in Co. Wexford. The trip had a personal impact on the President, bolstering his Irish pride. His host was then Irish President Éamon de Valera.

JFK was the first foreign head of state to address the joint houses of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament). Speaking at the packed chamber at Leinster House, Kennedy commended Ireland’s increased role on the world stage. In his speeches and appearances, he recognized Irish achievement both in Ireland and throughout the world, especially within the United States.

JFK’s four-day visit strengthened ties between Ireland and the United States and ushered in a new era of optimism in a changing Ireland. By 1963, Ireland was a country in transition, abandoning protectionism in favor of free trade and was busy courting foreign investment.

The Irish people gave JFK an enthusiastic reception from the moment Air Force One touched down in Dublin. Hundreds of thousands turned out to cheer him as he traveled through Dublin and on to his ancestral Wexford. He also visited Cork, Galway, and Limerick. He was pleasantly mobbed by the Irish wherever he traveled and those who couldn't meet him congregated in pubs and in neighbors’ houses to follow the historic visit on television.

JFK was so enamored with his ancestral homeland that he promised to return in his parting speech.

JFK quoted a poem in that speech, which was written by De Valera’s wife Sinéad de Valera, who had presented the poem of exile for him during dinner the previous evening.

’Tis the Shannon's brightly glancing stream,
brightly gleaming, silent in the morning beam.
Oh! the sight entrancing.
Thus return from travels long,
years of exile, years of pain
to see Old Shannon's face again,
O'er the waters glancing.


Upon completing the poem, JFK said, “Well, I am going to come back and see Old Shannon's face again, and I am taking, as I go back to America, all of you with me."

Sadly, he would never return as he was assassinated five months later.

>St. Colmcille - Ireland’s Other Patron Saint

St. Colmcille, June 9 feast day, is Ireland’s other patron saint. The other two are the more familiar St. Patrick and St. Brigid. He was also known as Columba, a Latin version of Colum. The “cille” suffix that was added to the end of his name means “of the churches.”

Colmcille was born December 7, 521 AD in Gartan, near Lough Gartan in Co. Donegal. The modern-day Donegal village of Glencolmcille is his namesake.

On his father's side, Colmcille is great-great-grandson of the famed Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish high king of the 5th century.

Colmcille entered the priesthood at the age of 20 when he became a pupil at Clonard Abbey, situated on the River Boyne in modern-day County Meath.

By 540 AD, he started a monastic settlement when a prince cousin gave him some land in Derry. St Colmcille is also the patron saint of the city of Derry.

Colmcille eventually founded some 30 monasteries in Ireland, later founding a monastery on the Scottish Island of Iona, where he lived most of the second half of his life.

Although Colmcille introduced many pagans to Christianity and inspired many people with his personal holiness, he was not always an angel on earth. His strong personality and forceful preaching was often found offensive and in 563 AD he was accused of starting a war between two Irish tribes.

After the death of Prince Curnan of Connaught, who Colmcille was meant to protect, many clerics and scholars threatened to excommunicate him. Instead, the high king sentenced Colmcille never to see Ireland again and he was exiled to Scotland. He settled on a bleak Scottish island of Iona where he would spend most of his remaining years.

However, in 575 AD Colmcille was persuaded to visit Ireland to mediate a dispute between the high king and the league of poets. Insisting on remaining faithful to the terms of his exile, that he never “see” Ireland again, he travelled blindfolded.

His renewed reputation was now respected in Ireland. He spoke to the assembled nobles and clergy with such force and authority that the king was persuaded to calm hostilities.

Colmcille spent the rest of his life on Iona praying, fasting, and teaching his monks to read and copy the Scriptures. Additionally, he wrote several hymns and has been credited with having transcribed over 300 books and manuscripts.

According to legend, and the writings of Adamnán of Iona, (Iona Abbey abbot, later St. Adamnán) on August 22, 565 AD, St Colmcille is said to have encountered the Loch Ness Monster, which has been interpreted as the first ever reference to the mythical Scottish beast.

The monster surfaced from the River Ness and darted towards Lugne, one of Colmcille's followers. Raising his hand to make the sign of the cross, Colmcille commanded the beast, “You will go no further, and won't touch the man; go back at once." Hearing the command of the saint, the monster fled as if terrified. The local pagans were amazed and converted to Christianity based on the miracle.

Colmcille died on Iona and was buried in 597 AD by his monks in the abbey he created. In 794 AD the Vikings sacked Iona and plundered the abbey and much of the relics Colmcille had procured in his life.

>Irish Golf Trivia

Organized golf in Ireland dates to the mid-19th century. Modern golf originated from a game played on the eastern coast of Scotland during the 15th century.

Per capita, Ireland is 4th worldwide with 14,127 people per course (2009 statistics). # 1 – Scotland (9,379), # 2 – New Zealand (10,374), # 3 – Australia (11,063), # 5 - Northern Ireland (14,353)

Fáilte Ireland estimates that golf tourism adds €270 million annually to the economy.

Ireland’s oldest known golf club is the Royal Curragh Golf Club, founded in 1852. Located in County Kildare, it is still in operation today.

The Golfing Union of Ireland was established in 1891, making it the oldest national golfing union in the world. It is based in Maynooth, County Kildare and it currently includes 430 golf clubs with 170,000 members. The original nine clubs in the union are still in operation today. They are: Aughnacloy, Ballycastle, Buncrana, Dungannon, Killymoon, Portsalon, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, and Royal Belfast.

The Irish PGA Championship has taken place every year since 1907, when it was known as the Irish Professional Championship.

>Fenian Invasion of Canada

Many Irish immigrants to the United States during the 19th Century maintained their Irish political beliefs and subsequently joined associations committed to ending British rule in Ireland. One such group was the Fenian Brotherhood, which was founded in 1858 by Irish immigrants Michael Doheny and John O’Mahony. The members were known as Fenians.

Between 1866 and 1871, the Fenian Brotherhood conducted several attacks on British Army forts and posts in Canada. These Fenian Raids were made in the hope of forcing the British into negotiating the establishment of a free Irish Republic.

The most successful Fenian Raid was conducted June 1, 1866, when Irish born John O’Neill, an American Union Army veteran, led a force of 600 men across the Niagara River into Canada. There the Fenians occupied Fort Erie. The Fenians were mostly battle tested American Civil War veterans, who on the next day routed a column of Canadian volunteers. The conflict became known as the Battle of Ridgeway (also known as the Battle of Lime Ridge or Limestone Ridge). 2 Fenians and 28 Canadian soldiers died in the skirmish.

The Fenians retreated into the United States before the British troops could organize and retaliate. O’Neill was arrested for violating the neutrality laws, but the charges were dropped.

O’Neill later commanded several less successful Fenian Raids and was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, but only served 3 months, as he was pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant, himself of Irish extraction.

>There are eight US cities that are named Dublin, after Ireland’s capital city. Six of these dedications were deliberate, while the remaining two were accidental.

Dublin, Ohio is a city outside of Columbus. It received its name in 1810 when Irish born land surveyor, John Shields, was given the opportunity to name the village. According to local lore, he rather poetically said, “If I have the honor conferred upon me to name your village, with the brightness of the morn, and the beaming of the sun on the hills and dales surrounding this beautiful valley, it would give me great pleasure to name your new town after my birthplace, Dublin, Ireland."

Dublin, Ohio hosts a big Irish fest every year and boasts many local landmarks that pay homage to its Irish namesake that include an Abbey Theater and the Brazenhead Pub along with street names that include Inishfree Lane and Phoenix Park Drive where you will find green painted fire hydrants. Local school mascots include shamrocks, Irish, and Celtics.

Dublin, California’s Irish roots date back to 1850, when two Irishmen, Jeremiah Fallon and Michael Murray, purchased 1,000 acres of land in the Amador-Livermore Valley from Jose Maria Amador.

Dublin, California hosts an annual Saint Patrick's Day celebration that includes a parade, and a two-day festival along with a 5K Fun Run and Walk. Additional Irish links include Emerald Glen Park and the 1856 Murray Schoolhouse.

Dublin, Georgia was founded in 1812 and it’s believed that one of the founders, a man by the last name of Sawyer, decided to name Dublin after the capital city of his homeland. Today, the city celebrates its Irish roots with a month full of St. Patrick’s Day revelry and entertainment. Irish author, James Joyce, honnored Dublin, Georgia, in his 1939 book, Finnegans Wake.

Dublin, Virginia, according to local legend, the town was named after New Dublin Presbyterian Church, which was in turn named after Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, New Hampshire, was settled in the 1760’s when Irishman Henry Strongman moved from Peterborough along with other early settlers arriving from Sherborn, Massachusetts. In 1771, Governor John Wentworth incorporated the town, naming it after Strongman's birthplace, Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, Pennsylvania is a borough in Bucks County. Early settlers were predominately Irish. The earliest written record shows that the area was named Dublin in a letter dated April 21, 1798.

Dublin, Kentucky is an unincorporated community in the Bluegrass State’s Graves County. It was named after Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, Texas was founded in 1854 in the Lonestar State’s central Erath County. According to the Texas State Historical association, the city was not named after the Irish capital. It is believed that the name may have evolved to Dublin from the warning cry at Indian raids, “Double In.” In any case, during the week of St. Patrick's Day, the community welcomes visitors with a parade, ambassador pageant, and other Irish related events.

Dublin, Michigan, according to local understanding, the town’s name has little if anything to do with Ireland. Rather, according to a 2007 article in the Record Eagle Newspaper, “The name comes from the Pere Marquette Railroad that used to run through town. Trains from the north had to slow to cross a trestle 100 feet above the Manistee River and could not get up enough steam to climb the long, gradual grade from Wellston to Dublin. Engineers would leave half of their cars in Wellston and take the trains up the hill in two trips.” In other words, they would double back, and from that “doubling,” the name “Dublin” evolved.

>Ireland observes Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of the Lenten season, which is three weeks before Easter Sunday.

>The history of celebrating Mother's Day in Ireland can be traced to medieval times where children from poor families were sent to work as domestic servants and apprentices in the homes of rich families. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, the children were given the day off to visit their respective hometown “Mother Church” and worship the Virgin Mary at special masses which were held in honor of Mary, the Mother of Christ. Naturally, the children visited their mothers and presented them with flowers they picked along the way.

>There are about 8 million sheep in Ireland and only 4.5 million humans.

>Ireland shares the same northerly latitude as the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where the weather is severe and snowy; however, Ireland enjoys relatively mild winters. This is because of the ocean current, which takes warm waters from the Atlantic Ocean to the Irish coast.

>Ireland is the Emerald Isle, but emeralds, just like snakes, are not found in Ireland.

>Ireland is often described to as the Emerald Isle due to the green vegetation that is found throughout the island. Most of the Irish countryside features farms, green lawns, and beautiful fields. The countryside in almost every county is dominated by some of the greenest hills anywhere in the world.

>Irish physician and writer, William Drennan, May 23, 1754 – February 5, 1820, is credited with first referring to Ireland as an emerald in his 1795 poem, When Erin First Rose.

>When Erin First Rose
When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God bless’d the green island and saw it was good;
The em’rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone.
In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blest,
With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,
Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,
And strikes her high harp ‘mid the ocean’s deep roar.


>Book of Kells Facts and Trivia

>The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript containing the four New Testament gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It was written and illustrated between the late 8th or early 9th centuries by Columban monks (devotees of Saint Columban, born c. 543 AD, Leinster, Ireland). It is not definitively known where The Book of Kells was produced; however, scholars believe that it was started at the Abbey of Iona (west coast of Scotland) and perhaps finished at the Abbey of Kells (County Meath, Ireland). Both Abbeys had a close association.

>The Book of Kells was an elaborate production requiring massive amounts of time to copy the text and create the illustrations onto the vellum (fine calfskin). Pigments included lapis lazuli, a blue color that was found only in the Middle East, and genuine gold.

>The book remained at the Abbey of Kells until it was closed during the 12th century. It was then moved to the newly formed parish church where it remained until 1654, when Oliver Cromwell’s English cavalry was garrisoned at Kells. Cromwell’s troops were violently anti-Catholic and known for their brutality, so to safeguard the book, it was moved to Dublin. The Book of Kells was given to Trinity College, Dublin, in 1661, and went on public display there in the 19th century. Today, The Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing in over one million visitors a year. In 2006, the manuscript was completely digitized and is available online.

>Ireland, 32,595 square miles, is the world’s 20th largest island. Greenland, 822,700 square miles, is the largest island in the world.

>Achill Island, 57 square miles, is Ireland’s largest island, located off the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo.

>The Guardians of the Peace (An Garda Síochána), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí or the Guards, is the national police service of Ireland. Ireland does not have any local or regional police departments. An Garda Síochána was formed in 1922. Preceding agencies included Royal Irish Constabulary, Irish Republican Police, and Dublin Metropolitan Police, which merged with An Garda Síochána in 1925.

>Dublin born Violet Gibson attempted to assassinate Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini, shooting at him twice, at point blank range, as he walked through a square, Piazza del Campidoglio, in Rome, April 7, 1926. The first shot hit Mussolini on the bridge of his nose, just as he turned his face. The revolver jammed with the second shot. Gibson was almost killed by the crowd, then deported to England, where doctors declared her insane. Her family agreed to place her in a mental asylum in Northampton where she remained until her death at age 79 in 1956. It is reported that Gibson’s passionate political and religious beliefs drove her to attempt to murder the Italian dictator.

>The 1912 song “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” synonymous with Ireland and all things Irish, was written by two Americans, George Graff and Chauncey Olcott. There is no indication showing that either man ever even visited Ireland.

>The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia in Galway, meaning, "Pig-marsh between two sea inlets." Other long names include Illaungraffanavrankagh in Clare, Glassillaunvealnacurra in Galway, Ballywinterrourkewood in Limerick, and Corragunnagalliaghdoo Island in Mayo.

>The Brazen Head on Merchant’s Quay is the oldest pub in Dublin. It’s reported that it started its life as a tavern back in 1198 and was later developed into a coaching inn in 1754.

>Dating back to 900 AD, Sean’s Bar in Athlone town, Co. Westmeath, is the oldest pub in Ireland. It’s widely believed that it’s the oldest pub in the world.

>Per-capita, Ireland consumes 81 liters of beer per year, eleventh highest worldwide. The Czech Republic is number one at 181 liters, per-capita (2020 statistics). Beer in the Czech Republic typically costs less than bottled water.>Uisce beatha, pronounced ish-keh byah-ha, is Irish for whiskey. Literally means, water of life.

>Limericks originated in the Irish town of Limerick and variants can be traced to the fourteenth century. Limericks consist of five anapestic lines, the pattern of the rhyme is a - a - b - b – a.Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

Typically the content of Limericks can often border on the indecent, the dirty, or even the obscene, but they make people laugh! Limericks are easy to remember and are short so no great talent is necessary to compose one. Limericks are a form of poetry that everyone feels happy to try, especially when inebriated.

>Irish, or Gaeilge, is the official language of Ireland. Irish is one of the three modern Goidelic languages; the other two are Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and Manx (Gaelg).

>Irish has only eighteen letters in its alphabet, no J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y, or Z. "Ch" is pronounced as in "Loch Ness" not as in "Chalk."

>Guinness trademarked its famous harp logo way back in 1862. The harp is also a symbol of Ireland. When Ireland became a Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922, the new Irish government had to come up with a different symbol so as not to infringe trademark laws. That’s why Ireland’s harp points in the opposite direction of Guinness’ harp. ‘Tis true, ‘tis true.

>Bagpipes have been played for centuries all across Europe, in parts of Asia and North Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. However, the most famous versions of the instrument today are the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes. The bag in the Scottish version is inflated by blowing into it, whereas the Irish version uses a bellows under the arm.

>The hugely successful Irish music and dance show “Riverdance” originated in 1994. In its first manifestation, the show was a relatively short entertainment created for the interval in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. A few months later, it was expanded into a full show that premiered in Dublin in early 1995. Since then, the show has traveled all over the world and has been seen by over 25 million people.

>Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Cork has been a major port for many years, and was the last port of call for many, many Irish emigrants to America. When these Irish people reached the US it was common for them to give their point of origin as “Cork,” whereas they may have come from almost anywhere in Ireland. It’s because of this that many descendants of Irish immigrants who had been told they were from a Cork family often find out they were under a misapprehension as their ancestors just sailed from Cork.

>The White House was designed by an Irishman. James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.

>The town of Shannon in the west of Ireland is named for the nearby River Shannon. The town is home to Shannon Airport, which used to be the most convenient stopping point for flights between North America and Europe. Shannon Airport is home to the longest runway in Ireland and was designated by NASA as an authorized emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle.

>Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland was the first place in the world to offer duty-free shopping. Shannon was also where the Irish Coffee originated, despite many claims to the contrary

>Irish Coffee, the creative coffee cocktail, was first served by Joe Sheridan to some American tourists one dismal winter night in 1942 after they had landed at Shannon Airport in Co. Clare, Ireland. To help cut the chill, Sheridan added Irish whiskey, sugar and cream to the passengers' coffee and Irish coffee was born.

This after dinner drink is prepared by warming, but not boiling, 2 2/3 ounces of black coffee, 1 1/3 ounce Irish whiskey and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar that is stirred until it is dissolved; note that the sugar is essential for the next ingredient, the cream, to float. Pour the mixture into an Irish coffee glass and carefully pour thick cream over the back of a spoon. The layer of cream will float on top of the coffee and you will build the layer of cream above the rim of the Irish coffee glass. Do not stir the cream into the beverage as you will sip the cocktail through the cream.

>Hurling is the national sport of Ireland. It’s played with a stick called a hurley and a ball called a “sliotar.” It’s thought to be the fastest team sport in the world, and certainly has to be the oldest as it predates Christianity and was brought to Ireland by the Celts.

>There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn't until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

>The phrase “beyond the pale” describes something that is offensive, outside the bounds of what is acceptable. The expression has its roots in the palings that defined boundaries in the Middle Ages. Those palings (fences) were made from “pales,” from the Latin “palus” meaning “stake.” The noun “pale” came to describe that area within the palings. The most famous “Pale” was that part of Ireland controlled for centuries directly by the English government, which was land surrounding Dublin that was bounded by ditches and fences. People living outside the Pale did not share the beliefs and customs of those within the boundaries, which gave rise to our usage of the phrase “beyond the pale.”

>A donnybrook is a free-for-all, a melee. It is named for a famous historic fair in Donnybrook, a district in Dublin, Ireland. Donnybrook Fair had the reputation as a place where there was lots of drinking and fighting.

>Ireland is divided into four provinces: Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster. “Ulster” is sometimes used as a synonym for “Northern Ireland” but in fact Ulster comprises the six counties of Northern Ireland and three more, namely Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, which are within the Republic of Ireland.

>There are eight US cities that are named Dublin, after Ireland’s capital city. Six of these dedications were deliberate, while the remaining two were accidental.

Dublin, Ohio is a small city just outside of Columbus. It received its name in 1810 when Irish born land surveyor, John Shields, was given the opportunity to name the village. According to local lore, he rather poetically said, “If I have the honor conferred upon me to name your village, with the brightness of the morn, and the beaming of the sun on the hills and dales surrounding this beautiful valley, it would give me great pleasure to name your new town after my birthplace, Dublin, Ireland."
Dublin, Ohio hosts a big Irish fest every year and boasts many local landmarks that pay homage to its Irish namesake that include an Abbey Theater and the Brazenhead Pub along with street names that include Inishfree Lane and Phoenix Park Drive where you will find green painted fire hydrants. Local school mascots include shamrocks, Irish, and Celtics.

Dublin, California’s Irish roots date back to 1850, when two Irishmen, Jeremiah Fallon and Michael Murray, purchased 1,000 acres of land in the Amador-Livermore Valley from Jose Maria Amador.
Dublin, California hosts an annual Saint Patrick's Day celebration that includes a parade, and a two-day festival along with a 5K Fun Run and Walk. Additional Irish links include Emerald Glen Park and the 1856 Murray Schoolhouse.

Dublin, Georgia was founded in 1812 and it’s believed that one of the founders, a man by the last name of Sawyer, decided to name Dublin after the capital city of his homeland. Today, the city celebrates its Irish roots with a month full of St. Patrick’s Day revelry and entertainment. Irish author, James Joyce, honnored Dublin, Georgia, in his 1939 book, Finnegans Wake.

Dublin, Virginia, according to local legend, the town was named after New Dublin Presbyterian Church, which was in turn named after Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, New Hampshire, was settled in the 1760’s when Irishman Henry Strongman moved from Peterborough along with other early settlers arriving from Sherborn, Massachusetts. In 1771, Governor John Wentworth incorporated the town, naming it after Strongman's birthplace, Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin Pennsylvania is a borough in Bucks County. Early settlers were predominately Irish. The earliest written record shows that the area was named Dublin in a letter dated April 21, 1798.

Dublin, Kentucky is an unincorporated community in the Bluegrass State’s Graves County. It was named after Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, Texas was founded in 1854 in the Lonestar State’s central Erath County. According to the Texas State Historical association, the name may have evolved to Dublin from the warning cry at Indian raids, “Double In.” During the week of St. Patrick's Day, the community welcomes visitors with a parade, ambassador pageant, and other events.

Dublin, Michigan, according to local understanding, the town’s name has little if anything to do with Ireland. Rather, according to a 2007 article in the Record Eagle Newspaper, “The name comes from the Pere Marquette Railroad that used to run through town. Trains from the north had to slow to cross a trestle 100 feet above the Manistee River and could not get up enough steam to climb the long, gradual grade from Wellston to Dublin. Engineers would leave half of their cars in Wellston and take the trains up the hill in two trips.” In other words, they would double back, and from that “doubling,” the name “Dublin” evolved.

>Ireland observes Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of the Lenten season, which is three weeks before Easter Sunday.

>The history of celebrating Mother's Day in Ireland can be traced to medieval times where children from poor families were sent to work as domestic servants and apprentices in the homes of rich families. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, the children were given the day off to visit their respective hometown “Mother Church” and worship the Virgin Mary at special masses which were held in honor of Mary, the Mother of Christ. Naturally, the children visited their mothers and presented them with flowers they picked along the way.

>There are about 8 million sheep in Ireland and only 4.5 million humans.

>Ireland shares the same northerly latitude as the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where the weather is severe and snowy; however, Ireland enjoys relatively mild winters. This is because of the ocean current, which takes warm waters from the Atlantic Ocean to the Irish coast.

>Ireland is the Emerald Isle, but emeralds, just like snakes, are not found in Ireland.

>Ireland is often described to as the Emerald Isle due to the green vegetation that is found throughout the island. Most of the Irish countryside features farms, green lawns, and beautiful fields. The countryside in almost every county is dominated by some of the greenest hills anywhere in the world.

>Irish physician and writer, William Drennan, May 23, 1754 – February 5, 1820, is credited with first referring to Ireland as an emerald in his 1795 poem, When Erin First Rose.

>When Erin First Rose
When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God bless’d the green island and saw it was good;
The em’rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone.
In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blest,
With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,
Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,
And strikes her high harp ‘mid the ocean’s deep roar.


>Book of Kells Facts and Trivia

>The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript containing the four New Testament gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It was written and illustrated between the late 8th or early 9th centuries by Columban monks (devotees of Saint Columban, born c. 543 AD, Leinster, Ireland). It is not definitively known where The Book of Kells was produced; however, scholars believe that it was started at the Abbey of Iona (west coast of Scotland) and perhaps finished at the Abbey of Kells (County Meath, Ireland). Both Abbeys had a close association.

>The Book of Kells was an elaborate production requiring massive amounts of time to copy the text and create the illustrations onto the vellum (fine calfskin). Pigments included lapis lazuli, a blue color that was found only in the Middle East, and genuine gold.

>The book remained at the Abbey of Kells until it was closed during the 12th century. It was then moved to the newly formed parish church where it remained until 1654, when Oliver Cromwell’s English cavalry was garrisoned at Kells. Cromwell’s troops were violently anti-Catholic and known for their brutality, so to safeguard the book, it was moved to Dublin. The Book of Kells was given to Trinity College, Dublin, in 1661, and went on public display there in the 19th century. Today, The Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing in over one million visitors a year. In 2006, the manuscript was completely digitized and is available online.

>Ireland, 32,595 square miles, is the world’s 20th largest island. Greenland, 822,700 square miles, is the largest island in the world.

>Achill Island, 57 square miles, is Ireland’s largest island, located off the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo.

>The Guardians of the Peace (An Garda Síochána), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí or the Guards, is the national police service of Ireland. Ireland does not have any local or regional police departments. An Garda Síochána was formed in 1922. Preceding agencies included Royal Irish Constabulary, Irish Republican Police, and Dublin Metropolitan Police, which merged with An Garda Síochána in 1925.

>Dublin born Violet Gibson attempted to assassinate Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini, shooting at him twice, at point blank range, as he walked through a square, Piazza del Campidoglio, in Rome, April 7, 1926. The first shot hit Mussolini on the bridge of his nose, just as he turned his face. The revolver jammed with the second shot. Gibson was almost killed by the crowd, then deported to England, where doctors declared her insane. Her family agreed to place her in a mental asylum in Northampton where she remained until her death at age 79 in 1956. It is reported that Gibson’s passionate political and religious beliefs drove her to attempt to murder the Italian dictator.

>The 1912 song “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” synonymous with Ireland and all things Irish, was written by two Americans, George Graff and Chauncey Olcott. There is no indication showing that either man ever even visited Ireland.

>The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia in Galway, meaning, "Pig-marsh between two sea inlets." Other long names include Illaungraffanavrankagh in Clare, Glassillaunvealnacurra in Galway, Ballywinterrourkewood in Limerick, and Corragunnagalliaghdoo Island in Mayo.

>The Brazen Head on Merchant’s Quay is the oldest pub in Dublin. It’s reported that it started its life as a tavern back in 1198 and was later developed into a coaching inn in 1754.

>Dating back to 900 AD, Sean’s Bar in Athlone town, Co. Westmeath, is the oldest pub in Ireland. It’s widely believed that it’s the oldest pub in the world.

>Per-capita, Ireland consumes 81 liters of beer per year, eleventh highest worldwide. The Czech Republic is number one at 181 liters, per-capita (2020 statistics). Beer in the Czech Republic typically costs less than bottled water.>Uisce beatha, pronounced ish-keh byah-ha, is Irish for whiskey. Literally means, water of life.

>Limericks originated in the Irish town of Limerick and variants can be traced to the fourteenth century. Limericks consist of five anapestic lines, the pattern of the rhyme is a - a - b - b – a.Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

Typically the content of Limericks can often border on the indecent, the dirty, or even the obscene, but they make people laugh! Limericks are easy to remember and are short so no great talent is necessary to compose one. Limericks are a form of poetry that everyone feels happy to try, especially when inebriated.

>Irish, or Gaeilge, is the official language of Ireland. Irish is one of the three modern Goidelic languages; the other two are Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and Manx (Gaelg).

>Irish has only eighteen letters in its alphabet, no J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y, or Z. "Ch" is pronounced as in "Loch Ness" not as in "Chalk."

>Guinness trademarked its famous harp logo way back in 1862. The harp is also a symbol of Ireland. When Ireland became a Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922, the new Irish government had to come up with a different symbol so as not to infringe trademark laws. That’s why Ireland’s harp points in the opposite direction of Guinness’ harp. ‘Tis true, ‘tis true.

>Bagpipes have been played for centuries all across Europe, in parts of Asia and North Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. However, the most famous versions of the instrument today are the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes. The bag in the Scottish version is inflated by blowing into it, whereas the Irish version uses a bellows under the arm.

>The hugely successful Irish music and dance show “Riverdance” originated in 1994. In its first manifestation, the show was a relatively short entertainment created for the interval in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. A few months later, it was expanded into a full show that premiered in Dublin in early 1995. Since then, the show has traveled all over the world and has been seen by over 25 million people.

>Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Cork has been a major port for many years, and was the last port of call for many, many Irish emigrants to America. When these Irish people reached the US it was common for them to give their point of origin as “Cork,” whereas they may have come from almost anywhere in Ireland. It’s because of this that many descendants of Irish immigrants who had been told they were from a Cork family often find out they were under a misapprehension as their ancestors just sailed from Cork.

>The White House was designed by an Irishman. James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.

>The town of Shannon in the west of Ireland is named for the nearby River Shannon. The town is home to Shannon Airport, which used to be the most convenient stopping point for flights between North America and Europe. Shannon Airport is home to the longest runway in Ireland and was designated by NASA as an authorized emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle.

>Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland was the first place in the world to offer duty-free shopping. Shannon was also where the Irish Coffee originated, despite many claims to the contrary

>Irish Coffee, the creative coffee cocktail, was first served by Joe Sheridan to some American tourists one dismal winter night in 1942 after they had landed at Shannon Airport in Co. Clare, Ireland. To help cut the chill, Sheridan added Irish whiskey, sugar and cream to the passengers' coffee and Irish coffee was born.

This after dinner drink is prepared by warming, but not boiling, 2 2/3 ounces of black coffee, 1 1/3 ounce Irish whiskey and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar that is stirred until it is dissolved; note that the sugar is essential for the next ingredient, the cream, to float. Pour the mixture into an Irish coffee glass and carefully pour thick cream over the back of a spoon. The layer of cream will float on top of the coffee and you will build the layer of cream above the rim of the Irish coffee glass. Do not stir the cream into the beverage as you will sip the cocktail through the cream.

>Hurling is the national sport of Ireland. It’s played with a stick called a hurley and a ball called a “sliotar.” It’s thought to be the fastest team sport in the world, and certainly has to be the oldest as it predates Christianity and was brought to Ireland by the Celts.

>There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn't until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

>The phrase “beyond the pale” describes something that is offensive, outside the bounds of what is acceptable. The expression has its roots in the palings that defined boundaries in the Middle Ages. Those palings (fences) were made from “pales,” from the Latin “palus” meaning “stake.” The noun “pale” came to describe that area within the palings. The most famous “Pale” was that part of Ireland controlled for centuries directly by the English government, which was land surrounding Dublin that was bounded by ditches and fences. People living outside the Pale did not share the beliefs and customs of those within the boundaries, which gave rise to our usage of the phrase “beyond the pale.”

>A donnybrook is a free-for-all, a melee. It is named for a famous historic fair in Donnybrook, a district in Dublin, Ireland. Donnybrook Fair had the reputation as a place where there was lots of drinking and fighting.

>Ireland is divided into four provinces: Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster. “Ulster” is sometimes used as a synonym for “Northern Ireland” but in fact Ulster comprises the six counties of Northern Ireland and three more, namely Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, which are within the Republic of Ireland.

>There are eight US cities that are named Dublin, after Ireland’s capital city. Six of these dedications were deliberate, while the remaining two were accidental.

Dublin, Ohio is a small city just outside of Columbus. It received its name in 1810 when Irish born land surveyor, John Shields, was given the opportunity to name the village. According to local lore, he rather poetically said, “If I have the honor conferred upon me to name your village, with the brightness of the morn, and the beaming of the sun on the hills and dales surrounding this beautiful valley, it would give me great pleasure to name your new town after my birthplace, Dublin, Ireland."
Dublin, Ohio hosts a big Irish fest every year and boasts many local landmarks that pay homage to its Irish namesake that include an Abbey Theater and the Brazenhead Pub along with street names that include Inishfree Lane and Phoenix Park Drive where you will find green painted fire hydrants. Local school mascots include shamrocks, Irish, and Celtics.

Dublin, California’s Irish roots date back to 1850, when two Irishmen, Jeremiah Fallon and Michael Murray, purchased 1,000 acres of land in the Amador-Livermore Valley from Jose Maria Amador.
Dublin, California hosts an annual Saint Patrick's Day celebration that includes a parade, and a two-day festival along with a 5K Fun Run and Walk. Additional Irish links include Emerald Glen Park and the 1856 Murray Schoolhouse.

Dublin, Georgia was founded in 1812 and it’s believed that one of the founders, a man by the last name of Sawyer, decided to name Dublin after the capital city of his homeland. Today, the city celebrates its Irish roots with a month full of St. Patrick’s Day revelry and entertainment. Irish author, James Joyce, honnored Dublin, Georgia, in his 1939 book, Finnegans Wake.

Dublin, Virginia, according to local legend, the town was named after New Dublin Presbyterian Church, which was in turn named after Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, New Hampshire, was settled in the 1760’s when Irishman Henry Strongman moved from Peterborough along with other early settlers arriving from Sherborn, Massachusetts. In 1771, Governor John Wentworth incorporated the town, naming it after Strongman's birthplace, Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin Pennsylvania is a borough in Bucks County. Early settlers were predominately Irish. The earliest written record shows that the area was named Dublin in a letter dated April 21, 1798.

Dublin, Kentucky is an unincorporated community in the Bluegrass State’s Graves County. It was named after Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, Texas was founded in 1854 in the Lonestar State’s central Erath County. According to the Texas State Historical association, the name may have evolved to Dublin from the warning cry at Indian raids, “Double In.” During the week of St. Patrick's Day, the community welcomes visitors with a parade, ambassador pageant, and other events.

Dublin, Michigan, according to local understanding, the town’s name has little if anything to do with Ireland. Rather, according to a 2007 article in the Record Eagle Newspaper, “The name comes from the Pere Marquette Railroad that used to run through town. Trains from the north had to slow to cross a trestle 100 feet above the Manistee River and could not get up enough steam to climb the long, gradual grade from Wellston to Dublin. Engineers would leave half of their cars in Wellston and take the trains up the hill in two trips.” In other words, they would double back, and from that “doubling,” the name “Dublin” evolved.

>Ireland observes Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of the Lenten season, which is three weeks before Easter Sunday.

>The history of celebrating Mother's Day in Ireland can be traced to medieval times where children from poor families were sent to work as domestic servants and apprentices in the homes of rich families. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, the children were given the day off to visit their respective hometown “Mother Church” and worship the Virgin Mary at special masses which were held in honor of Mary, the Mother of Christ. Naturally, the children visited their mothers and presented them with flowers they picked along the way.

>There are about 8 million sheep in Ireland and only 4.5 million humans.

>Ireland shares the same northerly latitude as the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where the weather is severe and snowy; however, Ireland enjoys relatively mild winters. This is because of the ocean current, which takes warm waters from the Atlantic Ocean to the Irish coast.

>Ireland is the Emerald Isle, but emeralds, just like snakes, are not found in Ireland.

>Ireland is often described to as the Emerald Isle due to the green vegetation that is found throughout the island. Most of the Irish countryside features farms, green lawns, and beautiful fields. The countryside in almost every county is dominated by some of the greenest hills anywhere in the world.

>Irish physician and writer, William Drennan, May 23, 1754 – February 5, 1820, is credited with first referring to Ireland as an emerald in his 1795 poem, When Erin First Rose.

>When Erin First Rose
When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God bless’d the green island and saw it was good;
The em’rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone.
In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blest,
With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,
Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,
And strikes her high harp ‘mid the ocean’s deep roar.


>Book of Kells Facts and Trivia

>The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript containing the four New Testament gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It was written and illustrated between the late 8th or early 9th centuries by Columban monks (devotees of Saint Columban, born c. 543 AD, Leinster, Ireland). It is not definitively known where The Book of Kells was produced; however, scholars believe that it was started at the Abbey of Iona (west coast of Scotland) and perhaps finished at the Abbey of Kells (County Meath, Ireland). Both Abbeys had a close association.

>The Book of Kells was an elaborate production requiring massive amounts of time to copy the text and create the illustrations onto the vellum (fine calfskin). Pigments included lapis lazuli, a blue color that was found only in the Middle East, and genuine gold.

>The book remained at the Abbey of Kells until it was closed during the 12th century. It was then moved to the newly formed parish church where it remained until 1654, when Oliver Cromwell’s English cavalry was garrisoned at Kells. Cromwell’s troops were violently anti-Catholic and known for their brutality, so to safeguard the book, it was moved to Dublin. The Book of Kells was given to Trinity College, Dublin, in 1661, and went on public display there in the 19th century. Today, The Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing in over one million visitors a year. In 2006, the manuscript was completely digitized and is available online.

>Ireland, 32,595 square miles, is the world’s 20th largest island. Greenland, 822,700 square miles, is the largest island in the world.

>Achill Island, 57 square miles, is Ireland’s largest island, located off the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo.

>The Guardians of the Peace (An Garda Síochána), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí or the Guards, is the national police service of Ireland. Ireland does not have any local or regional police departments. An Garda Síochána was formed in 1922. Preceding agencies included Royal Irish Constabulary, Irish Republican Police, and Dublin Metropolitan Police, which merged with An Garda Síochána in 1925.

>Dublin born Violet Gibson attempted to assassinate Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini, shooting at him twice, at point blank range, as he walked through a square, Piazza del Campidoglio, in Rome, April 7, 1926. The first shot hit Mussolini on the bridge of his nose, just as he turned his face. The revolver jammed with the second shot. Gibson was almost killed by the crowd, then deported to England, where doctors declared her insane. Her family agreed to place her in a mental asylum in Northampton where she remained until her death at age 79 in 1956. It is reported that Gibson’s passionate political and religious beliefs drove her to attempt to murder the Italian dictator.

>The 1912 song “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” synonymous with Ireland and all things Irish, was written by two Americans, George Graff and Chauncey Olcott. There is no indication showing that either man ever even visited Ireland.

>The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia in Galway, meaning, "Pig-marsh between two sea inlets." Other long names include Illaungraffanavrankagh in Clare, Glassillaunvealnacurra in Galway, Ballywinterrourkewood in Limerick, and Corragunnagalliaghdoo Island in Mayo.

>The Brazen Head on Merchant’s Quay is the oldest pub in Dublin. It’s reported that it started its life as a tavern back in 1198 and was later developed into a coaching inn in 1754.

>Dating back to 900 AD, Sean’s Bar in Athlone town, Co. Westmeath, is the oldest pub in Ireland. It’s widely believed that it’s the oldest pub in the world.

>Per-capita, Ireland consumes 81 liters of beer per year, eleventh highest worldwide. The Czech Republic is number one at 181 liters, per-capita (2020 statistics). Beer in the Czech Republic typically costs less than bottled water.>Uisce beatha, pronounced ish-keh byah-ha, is Irish for whiskey. Literally means, water of life.

>Limericks originated in the Irish town of Limerick and variants can be traced to the fourteenth century. Limericks consist of five anapestic lines, the pattern of the rhyme is a - a - b - b – a.Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

Typically the content of Limericks can often border on the indecent, the dirty, or even the obscene, but they make people laugh! Limericks are easy to remember and are short so no great talent is necessary to compose one. Limericks are a form of poetry that everyone feels happy to try, especially when inebriated.

>Irish, or Gaeilge, is the official language of Ireland. Irish is one of the three modern Goidelic languages; the other two are Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and Manx (Gaelg).

>Irish has only eighteen letters in its alphabet, no J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y, or Z. "Ch" is pronounced as in "Loch Ness" not as in "Chalk."

>Guinness trademarked its famous harp logo way back in 1862. The harp is also a symbol of Ireland. When Ireland became a Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922, the new Irish government had to come up with a different symbol so as not to infringe trademark laws. That’s why Ireland’s harp points in the opposite direction of Guinness’ harp. ‘Tis true, ‘tis true.

>Bagpipes have been played for centuries all across Europe, in parts of Asia and North Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. However, the most famous versions of the instrument today are the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes. The bag in the Scottish version is inflated by blowing into it, whereas the Irish version uses a bellows under the arm.

>The hugely successful Irish music and dance show “Riverdance” originated in 1994. In its first manifestation, the show was a relatively short entertainment created for the interval in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. A few months later, it was expanded into a full show that premiered in Dublin in early 1995. Since then, the show has traveled all over the world and has been seen by over 25 million people.

>Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Cork has been a major port for many years, and was the last port of call for many, many Irish emigrants to America. When these Irish people reached the US it was common for them to give their point of origin as “Cork,” whereas they may have come from almost anywhere in Ireland. It’s because of this that many descendants of Irish immigrants who had been told they were from a Cork family often find out they were under a misapprehension as their ancestors just sailed from Cork.

>The White House was designed by an Irishman. James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.

>The town of Shannon in the west of Ireland is named for the nearby River Shannon. The town is home to Shannon Airport, which used to be the most convenient stopping point for flights between North America and Europe. Shannon Airport is home to the longest runway in Ireland and was designated by NASA as an authorized emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle.

>Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland was the first place in the world to offer duty-free shopping. Shannon was also where the Irish Coffee originated, despite many claims to the contrary

>Irish Coffee, the creative coffee cocktail, was first served by Joe Sheridan to some American tourists one dismal winter night in 1942 after they had landed at Shannon Airport in Co. Clare, Ireland. To help cut the chill, Sheridan added Irish whiskey, sugar and cream to the passengers' coffee and Irish coffee was born.

This after dinner drink is prepared by warming, but not boiling, 2 2/3 ounces of black coffee, 1 1/3 ounce Irish whiskey and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar that is stirred until it is dissolved; note that the sugar is essential for the next ingredient, the cream, to float. Pour the mixture into an Irish coffee glass and carefully pour thick cream over the back of a spoon. The layer of cream will float on top of the coffee and you will build the layer of cream above the rim of the Irish coffee glass. Do not stir the cream into the beverage as you will sip the cocktail through the cream.

>Hurling is the national sport of Ireland. It’s played with a stick called a hurley and a ball called a “sliotar.” It’s thought to be the fastest team sport in the world, and certainly has to be the oldest as it predates Christianity and was brought to Ireland by the Celts.

>There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn't until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

>The phrase “beyond the pale” describes something that is offensive, outside the bounds of what is acceptable. The expression has its roots in the palings that defined boundaries in the Middle Ages. Those palings (fences) were made from “pales,” from the Latin “palus” meaning “stake.” The noun “pale” came to describe that area within the palings. The most famous “Pale” was that part of Ireland controlled for centuries directly by the English government, which was land surrounding Dublin that was bounded by ditches and fences. People living outside the Pale did not share the beliefs and customs of those within the boundaries, which gave rise to our usage of the phrase “beyond the pale.”

>A donnybrook is a free-for-all, a melee. It is named for a famous historic fair in Donnybrook, a district in Dublin, Ireland. Donnybrook Fair had the reputation as a place where there was lots of drinking and fighting.

>Ireland is divided into four provinces: Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster. “Ulster” is sometimes used as a synonym for “Northern Ireland” but in fact Ulster comprises the six counties of Northern Ireland and three more, namely Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, which are within the Republic of Ireland.

>There are eight US cities that are named Dublin, after Ireland’s capital city. Six of these dedications were deliberate, while the remaining two were accidental.

Dublin, Ohio is a small city just outside of Columbus. It received its name in 1810 when Irish born land surveyor, John Shields, was given the opportunity to name the village. According to local lore, he rather poetically said, “If I have the honor conferred upon me to name your village, with the brightness of the morn, and the beaming of the sun on the hills and dales surrounding this beautiful valley, it would give me great pleasure to name your new town after my birthplace, Dublin, Ireland."
Dublin, Ohio hosts a big Irish fest every year and boasts many local landmarks that pay homage to its Irish namesake that include an Abbey Theater and the Brazenhead Pub along with street names that include Inishfree Lane and Phoenix Park Drive where you will find green painted fire hydrants. Local school mascots include shamrocks, Irish, and Celtics.

Dublin, California’s Irish roots date back to 1850, when two Irishmen, Jeremiah Fallon and Michael Murray, purchased 1,000 acres of land in the Amador-Livermore Valley from Jose Maria Amador.
Dublin, California hosts an annual Saint Patrick's Day celebration that includes a parade, and a two-day festival along with a 5K Fun Run and Walk. Additional Irish links include Emerald Glen Park and the 1856 Murray Schoolhouse.

Dublin, Georgia was founded in 1812 and it’s believed that one of the founders, a man by the last name of Sawyer, decided to name Dublin after the capital city of his homeland. Today, the city celebrates its Irish roots with a month full of St. Patrick’s Day revelry and entertainment. Irish author, James Joyce, honnored Dublin, Georgia, in his 1939 book, Finnegans Wake.

Dublin, Virginia, according to local legend, the town was named after New Dublin Presbyterian Church, which was in turn named after Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, New Hampshire, was settled in the 1760’s when Irishman Henry Strongman moved from Peterborough along with other early settlers arriving from Sherborn, Massachusetts. In 1771, Governor John Wentworth incorporated the town, naming it after Strongman's birthplace, Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin Pennsylvania is a borough in Bucks County. Early settlers were predominately Irish. The earliest written record shows that the area was named Dublin in a letter dated April 21, 1798.

Dublin, Kentucky is an unincorporated community in the Bluegrass State’s Graves County. It was named after Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, Texas was founded in 1854 in the Lonestar State’s central Erath County. According to the Texas State Historical association, the name may have evolved to Dublin from the warning cry at Indian raids, “Double In.” During the week of St. Patrick's Day, the community welcomes visitors with a parade, ambassador pageant, and other events.

Dublin, Michigan, according to local understanding, the town’s name has little if anything to do with Ireland. Rather, according to a 2007 article in the Record Eagle Newspaper, “The name comes from the Pere Marquette Railroad that used to run through town. Trains from the north had to slow to cross a trestle 100 feet above the Manistee River and could not get up enough steam to climb the long, gradual grade from Wellston to Dublin. Engineers would leave half of their cars in Wellston and take the trains up the hill in two trips.” In other words, they would double back, and from that “doubling,” the name “Dublin” evolved.

>Ireland observes Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of the Lenten season, which is three weeks before Easter Sunday.

>The history of celebrating Mother's Day in Ireland can be traced to medieval times where children from poor families were sent to work as domestic servants and apprentices in the homes of rich families. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, the children were given the day off to visit their respective hometown “Mother Church” and worship the Virgin Mary at special masses which were held in honor of Mary, the Mother of Christ. Naturally, the children visited their mothers and presented them with flowers they picked along the way.

>There are about 8 million sheep in Ireland and only 4.5 million humans.

>Ireland shares the same northerly latitude as the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where the weather is severe and snowy; however, Ireland enjoys relatively mild winters. This is because of the ocean current, which takes warm waters from the Atlantic Ocean to the Irish coast.

>Ireland is the Emerald Isle, but emeralds, just like snakes, are not found in Ireland.

>Ireland is often described to as the Emerald Isle due to the green vegetation that is found throughout the island. Most of the Irish countryside features farms, green lawns, and beautiful fields. The countryside in almost every county is dominated by some of the greenest hills anywhere in the world.

>Irish physician and writer, William Drennan, May 23, 1754 – February 5, 1820, is credited with first referring to Ireland as an emerald in his 1795 poem, When Erin First Rose.

>When Erin First Rose
When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God bless’d the green island and saw it was good;
The em’rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone.
In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blest,
With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,
Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,
And strikes her high harp ‘mid the ocean’s deep roar.


>Book of Kells Facts and Trivia

>The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript containing the four New Testament gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It was written and illustrated between the late 8th or early 9th centuries by Columban monks (devotees of Saint Columban, born c. 543 AD, Leinster, Ireland). It is not definitively known where The Book of Kells was produced; however, scholars believe that it was started at the Abbey of Iona (west coast of Scotland) and perhaps finished at the Abbey of Kells (County Meath, Ireland). Both Abbeys had a close association.

>The Book of Kells was an elaborate production requiring massive amounts of time to copy the text and create the illustrations onto the vellum (fine calfskin). Pigments included lapis lazuli, a blue color that was found only in the Middle East, and genuine gold.

>The book remained at the Abbey of Kells until it was closed during the 12th century. It was then moved to the newly formed parish church where it remained until 1654, when Oliver Cromwell’s English cavalry was garrisoned at Kells. Cromwell’s troops were violently anti-Catholic and known for their brutality, so to safeguard the book, it was moved to Dublin. The Book of Kells was given to Trinity College, Dublin, in 1661, and went on public display there in the 19th century. Today, The Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing in over one million visitors a year. In 2006, the manuscript was completely digitized and is available online.

>Ireland, 32,595 square miles, is the world’s 20th largest island. Greenland, 822,700 square miles, is the largest island in the world.

>Achill Island, 57 square miles, is Ireland’s largest island, located off the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo.

>The Guardians of the Peace (An Garda Síochána), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí or the Guards, is the national police service of Ireland. Ireland does not have any local or regional police departments. An Garda Síochána was formed in 1922. Preceding agencies included Royal Irish Constabulary, Irish Republican Police, and Dublin Metropolitan Police, which merged with An Garda Síochána in 1925.

>Dublin born Violet Gibson attempted to assassinate Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini, shooting at him twice, at point blank range, as he walked through a square, Piazza del Campidoglio, in Rome, April 7, 1926. The first shot hit Mussolini on the bridge of his nose, just as he turned his face. The revolver jammed with the second shot. Gibson was almost killed by the crowd, then deported to England, where doctors declared her insane. Her family agreed to place her in a mental asylum in Northampton where she remained until her death at age 79 in 1956. It is reported that Gibson’s passionate political and religious beliefs drove her to attempt to murder the Italian dictator.

>The 1912 song “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” synonymous with Ireland and all things Irish, was written by two Americans, George Graff and Chauncey Olcott. There is no indication showing that either man ever even visited Ireland.

>The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia in Galway, meaning, "Pig-marsh between two sea inlets." Other long names include Illaungraffanavrankagh in Clare, Glassillaunvealnacurra in Galway, Ballywinterrourkewood in Limerick, and Corragunnagalliaghdoo Island in Mayo.

>The Brazen Head on Merchant’s Quay is the oldest pub in Dublin. It’s reported that it started its life as a tavern back in 1198 and was later developed into a coaching inn in 1754.

>Dating back to 900 AD, Sean’s Bar in Athlone town, Co. Westmeath, is the oldest pub in Ireland. It’s widely believed that it’s the oldest pub in the world.

>Per-capita, Ireland consumes 81 liters of beer per year, eleventh highest worldwide. The Czech Republic is number one at 181 liters, per-capita (2020 statistics). Beer in the Czech Republic typically costs less than bottled water.>Uisce beatha, pronounced ish-keh byah-ha, is Irish for whiskey. Literally means, water of life.

>Limericks originated in the Irish town of Limerick and variants can be traced to the fourteenth century. Limericks consist of five anapestic lines, the pattern of the rhyme is a - a - b - b – a.Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

Typically the content of Limericks can often border on the indecent, the dirty, or even the obscene, but they make people laugh! Limericks are easy to remember and are short so no great talent is necessary to compose one. Limericks are a form of poetry that everyone feels happy to try, especially when inebriated.

>Irish, or Gaeilge, is the official language of Ireland. Irish is one of the three modern Goidelic languages; the other two are Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and Manx (Gaelg).

>Irish has only eighteen letters in its alphabet, no J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y, or Z. "Ch" is pronounced as in "Loch Ness" not as in "Chalk."

>Guinness trademarked its famous harp logo way back in 1862. The harp is also a symbol of Ireland. When Ireland became a Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922, the new Irish government had to come up with a different symbol so as not to infringe trademark laws. That’s why Ireland’s harp points in the opposite direction of Guinness’ harp. ‘Tis true, ‘tis true.

>Bagpipes have been played for centuries all across Europe, in parts of Asia and North Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. However, the most famous versions of the instrument today are the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes. The bag in the Scottish version is inflated by blowing into it, whereas the Irish version uses a bellows under the arm.

>The hugely successful Irish music and dance show “Riverdance” originated in 1994. In its first manifestation, the show was a relatively short entertainment created for the interval in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. A few months later, it was expanded into a full show that premiered in Dublin in early 1995. Since then, the show has traveled all over the world and has been seen by over 25 million people.

>Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Cork has been a major port for many years, and was the last port of call for many, many Irish emigrants to America. When these Irish people reached the US it was common for them to give their point of origin as “Cork,” whereas they may have come from almost anywhere in Ireland. It’s because of this that many descendants of Irish immigrants who had been told they were from a Cork family often find out they were under a misapprehension as their ancestors just sailed from Cork.

>The White House was designed by an Irishman. James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.

>The town of Shannon in the west of Ireland is named for the nearby River Shannon. The town is home to Shannon Airport, which used to be the most convenient stopping point for flights between North America and Europe. Shannon Airport is home to the longest runway in Ireland and was designated by NASA as an authorized emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle.

>Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland was the first place in the world to offer duty-free shopping. Shannon was also where the Irish Coffee originated, despite many claims to the contrary

>Irish Coffee, the creative coffee cocktail, was first served by Joe Sheridan to some American tourists one dismal winter night in 1942 after they had landed at Shannon Airport in Co. Clare, Ireland. To help cut the chill, Sheridan added Irish whiskey, sugar and cream to the passengers' coffee and Irish coffee was born.

This after dinner drink is prepared by warming, but not boiling, 2 2/3 ounces of black coffee, 1 1/3 ounce Irish whiskey and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar that is stirred until it is dissolved; note that the sugar is essential for the next ingredient, the cream, to float. Pour the mixture into an Irish coffee glass and carefully pour thick cream over the back of a spoon. The layer of cream will float on top of the coffee and you will build the layer of cream above the rim of the Irish coffee glass. Do not stir the cream into the beverage as you will sip the cocktail through the cream.

>Hurling is the national sport of Ireland. It’s played with a stick called a hurley and a ball called a “sliotar.” It’s thought to be the fastest team sport in the world, and certainly has to be the oldest as it predates Christianity and was brought to Ireland by the Celts.

>There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn't until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

>The phrase “beyond the pale” describes something that is offensive, outside the bounds of what is acceptable. The expression has its roots in the palings that defined boundaries in the Middle Ages. Those palings (fences) were made from “pales,” from the Latin “palus” meaning “stake.” The noun “pale” came to describe that area within the palings. The most famous “Pale” was that part of Ireland controlled for centuries directly by the English government, which was land surrounding Dublin that was bounded by ditches and fences. People living outside the Pale did not share the beliefs and customs of those within the boundaries, which gave rise to our usage of the phrase “beyond the pale.”

>A donnybrook is a free-for-all, a melee. It is named for a famous historic fair in Donnybrook, a district in Dublin, Ireland. Donnybrook Fair had the reputation as a place where there was lots of drinking and fighting.

>Ireland is divided into four provinces: Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster. “Ulster” is sometimes used as a synonym for “Northern Ireland” but in fact Ulster comprises the six counties of Northern Ireland and three more, namely Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, which are within the Republic of Ireland.