From Leprechauns to Literature: 45 Ireland Facts to Impress Your Friends


26James Sligo Jameson

James Sligo Jameson

James Sligo Jameson, the heir to Irish whiskey manufacturer Jameson's, bought an 11-year-old girl and offered her to cannibals to document and sketch how she was cooked and eaten.

27. There is a youth subculture in Ireland called the Dublin Pony Kids. These boys and girls camp with their horses in front yards or on city wasteland.

28. An Irish man named Frank Buckley owns a house that is actually made from decommissioned Euro bills that previously amounted to €1.4 billion.

29. The most popular sport in Ireland (Gaelic football) is a completely amateur sport. The players play in front of 80,000 people and don't get paid.

30. An Irish Nationalist named Robert Erskine Childers smuggled guns into Ireland during their civil war. When he was sentenced to death, he shook hands with the firing squad members and told them when they were about to shoot “Take a step or two forward, lads. It will be easier that way.”

31Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2

In 2011, a 14-year-old Irish boy named Jake hacked into Modern Warfare 2 servers. As a result, Microsoft offered to "develop his talent for legitimate purposes."

32. Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw is the only person to ever win both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar.

33. A pub named Downey's Pub in Dublin once had a strike that lasted 14 years.

34. A pub named Whiskey Joe's in Ireland gives out free drinks to customers that don't use their phones

35. A motorway in Ireland was delayed by 10 years and then rerouted to protect a tree that was thought to belong to fairies.

36Enniskillen's Remembrance Day

Enniskillen's Remembrance Day

A bomb was set off in Ireland (Enniskillen's Remembrance Day) during a parade in 1987. 10 years later those responsible apologized because of the peace campaign by the father of one of the victims.

37. People in Ireland leave out Guinness for Santa on Christmas Eve.

38. Ireland is the only country to 'express disapproval' at ISO standard 3103 (how to make tea) which states that the milk should go in first

39. Jack Butler Yeats holds the distinction of being Ireland's first medalist at the Olympic Games in the wake of the creation of the Irish Free State. At the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, Yeats' painting The Liffey Swim won a silver medal in the arts and culture segment of the Games.

40. In pre-famine Ireland, the average farmer would eat between 10 and 14 pounds of potatoes a day, washed down with milk or buttermilk.

41Starve to death

Starve to death

Four Irish women barricaded themselves in their home in 2000 and starved themselves for weeks until death. In a letter found at the scene: "Our stomachs are devouring themselves . . . Please, please listen, none of us foresaw it could be this cruel and slow."

42. Irish writer George Bernard Shaw had a rotating office that he could turn to face the sun in the winter and give himself more shade in the summer.

43. Church attendance in Ireland dropped from 90% in the 80s to 18% by 2011. The change is attributed to the church's attitude towards the multiple sex scandals that surfaced from the 90s onwards.

44. About 20-40% of Ireland’s population was wiped out during the Cromwellian wars, which lasted for 4 years between 1649 and 1653.

45. In 2002, Irish police raided a judge's (Brian Curtin) home and found child pornography on his computer, but the judge was found 'Not Guilty' of possession as the warrant used was one day out of date.