Focus on Ireland

To keep in the Poland-Ukraine 2012 spirit, I’ll focus on a different country playing in the tournament each day during the month of June; looking not so much at the national football team but more about travel to and visiting the country itself.

Trim Castle, Co Meath, Ireland
Trim Castle, Co. Meath, Ireland (Photo: Wikipedia)

Today’s spotlight is on The Republic of Ireland.

Ireland is often called the Emerald Isle because of the powerful greenness of its countryside.

Sadly, many of us – myself included – are guilty of spending too much time in Dublin.

The Island of Ireland

Ireland is a part of the British Isles geographically. Politically, the island is divided into Northern Ireland, a constituent part of the United Kingdom; and the idependent state of Ireland (Éire, in Irish)..

Map of Ireland – Irish Counties

The Republic of Ireland

The term ‘Republic of Ireland’ is a description of the State of Ireland (Éire – Ireland), as outlined in the Republic of Ireland Act 1948; often used to distinguish the state from the island of Ireland as a whole.

The Irish state makes up 26 of the 32 traditional counties of the island of Ireland; including part of the province of Ulster.

Northern Ireland is the remaining six counties of Ulster, in the north-eastern part of the island.

Ruled by England for more than 400 years, the Republic gained independence in 1922, after a long and violent struggle.

Ireland Tourism

Ireland is a land of mountains, lakes, and rolling farmland, with an ancient history and world-famous literary tradition.

Scenic attractions include the romantic Lakes of Killarney; the lush Wicklow Mountains; and the Cliffs of Moher, that rise from the sea in a five-mile wall.

Many Americans – presidents included – like to visit Ireland to ‘trace their Irish roots’.

U.S. Presidents with Irish Roots:
Over half the presidents in U.S. history claim Irish ancestry of some kind.

Visit IrelandVisit Dublin.

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8 Replies to “Focus on Ireland”

  1. Technically, the term ‘the Republic of Ireland’ refers only to the football team (soccer). The 26 counties are simply Ireland or Éire, and the 6 counties are Northern Ireland.


    1. Thanks Mary,

      Technically, this was written during the Euro 2012 football tournament; so doubly confusing. I suppose we could be Irish and call it the 26 Counties.


  2. And, although I’m Irish and should have known this, it was only pointed out to me a few years ago at a diplomatic reception when an Ambassador made the mistake… who knew! 🙂


    1. Lips are sealed, Michel… lips are sealed. Amazing that they get to keep the title long after they’ve left their post – a little like presidents.


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