Paper on a fantastic country and its pulsating capital


A visit to Ireland is like a trip back in time. Ancient ruins are everywhere - from mysterious Druidic monuments to awe - inspiring Norman fortifications.
Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is certainly green, but the term belies the amazing diversity of landscape. County Wicklow, in the east, is wild and rugged, the haunt of fugitives in times gone by, while the west coast has the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and the rocky Burren. Don't miss the windswept Aran Islands or the romantic lake district of Fermanagh. Clearly - marked walking trails follow old bog roads and canal towpaths, allowing visitors to enjoy the countryside on foot.

The Republic of Ireland, or Éire, is divided into 26 counties. These are divided into 32 Administrative Counties, with Tipperary divided into two ridings and Dublin into three. The cities of Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Waterford have county borough status.

The last couple of years have seen a boom in Ireland's economy. Often referred to as the 'Celtic Tiger' employment is high, inflation low and the government reports a large surplus.
Agriculture is an important sector of the Irish economy, with beef and dairy farming being its most important elements. The textile, chemical and electronics industries are developing quickly, while the service industry has been very important during the last decade. In addition, many large computer companies have established substantial operations in Ireland.
Tourism is an increasingly important industry. Deposits of natural gas and oil have been discovered off the south coast.

Some dates in Irish history:

    · 432 St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland · 1541 Henry VIII forced the Irish to declare him their king · 1604 Elisabeth I (Henry VIII’s daughter) invaded Ireland and later made English settlers move to Ireland · 1690 Irish defeat at the battle of the Boyne (against William of Orange) · 1801 Ireland becomes part of UK · 1845 potato famine kills almost a million Irish and causes 1/3 of population to emigrate to USA · 1916 Easter Rising (= rebellion) in Dublin · 1921 Partial independence in the ‘Irish Free State’ · 1949 Declaration of Irish Republic Conly, Ulster = Northern Ireland remains British · 1973 Ireland becomes member of the EC · 1969 - 82 very heavy fighting between the Irish Republican Army (IRA (Catholics)) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF(Protestants)) · 1994 John Major starts negotiating with N.I. Catholics in order to end the fighting between the two factions (suggesting the possibility of an Irish reunification)


County Dublin is home to Ireland's capital of the same name. Dublin is a smallish friendly city with a great literary heritage. The name Dublin is derived from the words Dubh Linn, meaning 'black pool'
Many of its main attractions are within walking distance of each other. The city's abundance of pubs once led James Joyce, one of Ireland's most important writers, to say that a good
puzzle would be to find a route across Dublin that did not pass a pub.

The River Liffey runs through the centre of the city, dividing into the 'northside' made famous by the film The Commitments, and the more affluent 'southside'. Just south of the Liffey, Grafton Street is a pedestrian mall filled with buskers, colourful shops and great pubs. O'Connell Bridge leads into O'Connell street, the city's busiest street, where you'll find the General Post Office and several interesting statues.

Temple Bar is one of the oldest areas in Dublin and contains a variety of restaurants, pubs and music venues, as well as a few small art galleries and interesting shops.
The city is well known for its Georgian mansions and though some of this architecture has decayed in the last few decades, some fine examples can be seen in Fitzwilliam and Merrion squares.

Dublin has several public parks but the best known is Phoenix park on the western side of the city. Covering 700 hectares (1,730 acres), the park contains the residences of the Irish president and the US ambassador, lakes, a zoo, a castle and a herd of deer. A 61m (200ft) obelisk was erected in the park in 1817 in tribute to the Duke of Wellington. In the city centre, St Stephen's Green covers 9 hectares (22 acres) and offers a pleasant respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Trinity College was founded in the 16th century and houses a fine collection of ancient manuscripts. The 'Book of Kells', a splendid 8th - century illuminated manuscript, is on permanent display in the library. Dublin Castle is situated a few blocks west of Trinity College. Built in the early 13th century, the castle is open to the public daily.
Bloomsday, the day on which all the action in James Joyce's novel Ulysses takes place, is celebrated on 16 June every year. Participants follow the activities of the main character, Bloom, through Dublin; readings and guided tours of sites associated with Joyce and Bloom are included in the itinerary.


Gaelic is the official language, although it is mainly spoken along the western seaboard. English is more widely spoken, but the following words and phrases may come in handy as many signs are written in Gaelic.
Commonly used Gaelic words/phrases:
Gift of the gab
Níl aon tintéan mar do thintéan féin.
There's no place like home.
Scileann fĂ­on fĂ­rinne.
Wine lets out the truth.
Go n - ithe an cat thĂş is go n - ithe an diabhal an cat.
May the cat eat you, and may the cat be eaten by the devil.
a good time and conversation
gabhaim pardĂşn agat
I beg your pardon
cá bhfuil ...?
where is ...?
le do thoil
slán leat
good bye (to a person leaving)
slán agat
good bye (when you are leaving)

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