Interesting facts about Ireland

People & Culture

  • The Irish consume in average 131.1 liters of beer per year – the 2nd highest per-capita consumption after the Czech Republic.
  • Famous Irish breweries include Guinness, Smithwicks (Kilkenny), and Harp Lager.
  • The three most famous symbols of Ireland are the green Shamrock, the harp, and the Celtic cross.
  • 88% of Irish citizens are nominally Roman Catholic. The Republic of Ireland has one of the highest rates of church attendance in the Western World (around 45% of regular Mass attendance).
  • The ancestral language of Irish people is Irish Gaelic. Nowadays 1.6 million people claiming a self-reported competence in Irish, but only 380,000 fluent speakers remain.
  • Ireland is one of the world leader for pop music, with singers and bands like Horslips, U2, Thin Lizzy, Boomtown Rats, The Corrs, Clannad, Boyzone, Ronan Keating, The Cranberries, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Westlife and Enya. Add to this artists of Irish descent like Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison of the Beatles, Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher of Oasis, Bruce Springsteen, or Johnny Rotten (lead singer of the Sex Pistols).
  • Notable Hollywood actors from the Republic of Ireland include Barry Fitzgerald, Maureen O’Sullivan, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Daniel Day Lewis (by citizenship), Colm Meaney, Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy.
  • Other actors or actresses of Irish descent include : Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Macaulay Culkin, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Heather Graham, and Bill Murray.
  • Many Irish family names start with “Mac” or “O’…”, which means respectively “son of …” and “grandson of …” in Gaelic.
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