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Ireland - The Emerald Isle

For the longest time, the 3 “I” countries have been very popular for folks to travel to. These 3 countries include Italy, Iceland and Ireland. Ireland is the focus for my weekly content since it seems to be coming up regularly these days particularly since they’ve recently opened up their borders with headlines reading that “Ireland Drops All Remaining COVID-19 Travel Restrictions”! Hurray!

Of course, it also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day this week on Thursday, so what better way to celebrate and acknowledge that special occasion then to focus on the Emerald Isles for my content. Ireland is also known as the island of saints and scholars due to its education excellence. They have a 'deep-seated love of learning'.

Speaking of saints and St. Pat’s Day, you may not realize that he, St. Patrick, wasn’t even Irish, even though he’s considered the patron saint of Ireland. He was actually born in ‘Roman Britain’ in the 4th century and was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16 years old!

St. Patrick’s Day, itself, celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. The shamrock (with 3 leaves, not 4) was used in his teachings about the holy trinity and is now the official flower of Ireland. Almost 12% of Americans claim Irish ancestry and even more interestingly, there are more people of Irish ancestry living in the United States than in Ireland!

Ireland is the second largest island of the British Isles after Great Britain and the third largest in all of Europe. The majority of the island is considered the Republic of Ireland while just a small portion (approximately 1/6th) is Northern Ireland that is part of Great Britain. The Republic of Ireland is an independent nation and is part of the European Union, while Great Britain and hence, Northern Ireland are not.

In 1921, 6 of the 32 counties within Ireland decided to retain their political unity with Great Britain vs. the other 26 counties becoming part of the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland with Great Britain is considered part of the United Kingdom.

Dublin is the capital of Ireland and its largest city with about 40% of the total population of Ireland, that is 2 million people in the Greater Dublin area.

Ireland’s quality of life ranks very high in the world based on metrics including economic freedom, healthcare and freedom of the press.

Although golf was invented in neighboring Scotland, it’s been played in Ireland since the mid-19th century and they also have some of the world’s most incredible golf courses including Old Head, Ballybunion, and Lahinch to name just a few.

Ireland has a lot to offer travelers including such highlights as The Cliffs of Mohr, The Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park, The Rock of Cashel, Aran Islands, Blarney Castle and The Stone, and Northern Ireland’s The Giant’s Causeway. Ireland is a place of phenomenal scenery with dramatic photo ops everywhere you travel and lots of castles too!

Whether you’re interested in seeing Ireland’s drop-dead scenery, drinking their famous Guinness beer or Jameson Irish Whiskey, playing some golf on their stunning golf courses or just simply wanting to enjoy their world-renowned hospitality, Ireland is a FABULOUS place to visit! So much to see and do no matter what your taste.

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