10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland

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1. Saint Patrick, the country’s patron saint is said to have been born in Britain, not Ireland.

2. The Republic of Ireland first qualified for the soccer World Cup in 1990. Many members of that squad was born outside Ireland, though had Irish ancestry. Manager Jack Charlton won the World Cup in 1966 as a player – with England.

3. The DeLorean DMC-12 sports car that was used as Doc Brown’s time machine in the Back to the Future trilogy was built in Belfast. The DeLorean Motor Company had already ceased to exist by the time the movies were made.

4. The Titanic’s last stop before it sank was in the port of Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland. The port was the traditional final stop for transatlantic liners before setting out into the open ocean. Titanic had to anchor two miles out to sea, while new passengers joined the ship and those travelling only as far as Ireland disembarked.

5. Out of the four members of the band U2, only two were born in Ireland. The Edge was born in London, while bass player Adam Clayton was also born in England, in Oxfordshire. Only Bono and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr were born in the Emerald Isle.

6. In horseracing, the steeplechase is said to have originated in Ireland in 1752. It was the result of a wager between two men who raced four miles across the countryside from Buttevant Church to St Leger Church in Cork.

7. The Irish name for Dublin, Dubhlinn, means “black pool”. The city was originally a Viking settlement.

8. Ireland is the third largest island in Europe, after Great Britain and Iceland. With an area of more than 32,000 square miles, it is the 20th largest island in the world.

9. There are currently eight Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland, five of them in Dublin.

10. The highest point in Ireland is Carrauntoohil, a mountain in County Kerry. Its summit is 1,038 metres (3,406 feet) above sea level.

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