Tourism to the Island of Ireland


Located on the north-western tip of Europe, Ireland is Europe’s third-largest island. (The very largest are Great Britain and Iceland.) The third largest is split into two: Northern Ireland with Belfast as its capital is part of the UK. The Republic of Ireland (also known as Eire) in the south has Dublin as its capital and is an independent member of the EU. Ireland is steeped in ancient myths and legends, for example the Giant’s Causeway, an area of interlocking basalt columns on the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland, is said to have been the work of giant Finn MacCool, who built it as a path to a rival giant who lived in Scotland; but it is actually the result of ancient volcanic activity.

Ireland is also a country of contrasts, with beautiful, soft, lush-green countryside, striking lunar landscapes, labyrinthine caves, crystal-clear lakes and the sometimes tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, which has created the coast’s golden sands and rugged rocky outcrops. Ireland has a fascinating history dating back to 6,000 BC, when there were invasions by Neolithic tribes, to the more recent “Troubles” of the 20th century. The latter was an undeclared civil war between Protestants and Roman Catholics, ostensibly a sectarian dispute, but in reality more tribal and economic in origin. From time to time a weak economy is thought to have driven over 80 million mostly young Irish people to seek work in all corners of the globe, in what is known as ‘the great diaspora’. Fortunately many of them have come back in more prosperous times.

The Irish have a well-deserved reputation for being warm-hearted and welcoming, eager to let you into the secrets of their homeland. A people with a passion for music and dance as well as talking, which they call “craic” (pronounced ‘crack’), meaning a pleasant chat in a social context, such as in a pub, and especially over a glass of Guinness! One other term for conversation you may come across is “blarney”, which is to attempt to flatter or persuade someone, often by telling an untruth. The word comes from the ‘Blarney stone’ in Blarney Castle, and the legend is that whoever kisses that stone (and plenty of people are willing to lean out over the top of the tower to do so) will be given the ‘gift of the gab’, and never be lost for words again.

Ireland landscape Ireland village
Ireland water Ireland water
Ireland ships Ireland ships
Ireland boats Ireland landscape
Ireland sculpture
Ireland landscape Ireland village Ireland Ireland ship
Ireland village Lucky Star Bar Ireland ruins Ireland house
Ireland cows
Ireland water Ireland houses
Ireland farm Ireland beach
Ireland landscape Courtney's Public House Aces high Ireland beach
Ireland beach restaurant
Ireland ruins Ireland landscape
Ireland beach
Town Coffee Ireland sea Salmon smokery Kerry Woollen Mills
Ireland Ireland Ireland lake Ireland landscape
Ireland road
Ireland ruins
Ireland Ireland ruins Ireland houses
The Quai Food Ireland
Ireland lighthouse Ireland shore Ireland Ireland sights